Trade experts and business leaders said the new investigation into intellectual property could be a sign that the trade agenda is shifting into the hands of United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, a respected negotiator who helped implement some of the most protectionist trade policies of recent decades during the Reagan administration.
The official, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that he doesn't believe this will lead to a period of conflict between the US and China, adding, "this is simply business between two countries".
"The United States government can, and does, work with countries to address serious concerns such as North Korea while also pursuing measures to address economic concerns, such as the theft of U.S. intellectual property", a U.S. National Security Council official said. "Maybe it wasn't tough enough", Trump told reporters.
An official continued on to say that there is more than $600 billion of intellectual property theft against USA companies with China responsible for a huge portion of that.
The president's trade action will be a long way from any punitive move against China, despite his and his advisors' open talk of Chinese "theft" and "stealing" of US companies' intellectual property, which broadly includes technological innovations, film and other artistic products, industrial designs and military secrets.
US President Donald Trump is tomorrow to call for his chief trade adviser to investigate China's intellectual property practices, Web site Politico reported, citing an unnamed administration official. That finding reportedly came from a confidential USA intelligence assessment. "The results are there for all to see".
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"I think China can do a lot more", Trump told reporters on Thursday.
Trump, who has been residing at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for the past week, plans to return to Washington on Monday to officially announce the trade investigation.
It may also prove to be a source of leverage to push China to do more to help contain a rising security threat from North Korea, which counts Beijing as its only powerful ally.
"We lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade with China". "China's been engaged in the theft and forced transfer of USA technologies and intellectual property for years".
"Protection measures against some specific items, such as steel and aluminum, may gain political favors, but are not likely to be of much help to rebalance trade", economists at the Institute of International Finance wrote in a research note this week.