Trump Administration Gets Tougher with China Trade Policies

President Donald Trump made it clear over the weekend, that the U.S. is disappointed with China has handled the North Korea problem.

Now, the Trump administration is planning to take a stricter stance on U.S. trade laws that impact China.

Although China’s lack of action in regards to North Korea and its irresponsible nuclear missile program caused Trump to publicly blast the country on Twitter this weekend, the stricter trade policy enforcement has to do with complaints from U.S. businesses.

A senior Chinese official also said that there is no connection between the China-U.S. trade and North Korea’s nuclear missile program.

“The U.S. is considering using rarely invoked U.S. trade laws to fend off China’s demands that foreign companies share their technology in return for access to the country’s vast market,” writes Fox News. “The move is prompted by discontent among U.S. businesses, which have grown frustrated with China’s trade and market access practices, The Wall Street Journal reported.”

These policies, in particular, have helped to propel China as a global leader in the technology space. In the past, the U.S. has rarely imposed sanctions or penalties.
“A source familiar with the U.S. discussions said the Trump administration planned to employ Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which allows Washington to investigate China’s trade practices and, within months, raise tariffs on imports from China, or impose other sanctions,” writes Fox News. “Section 301 was used frequently in the 1980s to combat Japanese imports of steel, motorcycles and other items, but less frequently after the World Trade Organization was founded in 1995, Reuters reported.”
But now, the government is planning to launch a new investigation or probe on China about its alleged “forced technology transfer policies and practices.”

Earlier this week, the U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross wrote an article criticizing China for “formidable non-tariff trade barriers.” He also said the U.S. and China are making progress on other fronts.

“For 14 years, American beef producers have been trying to get their product into China on an unfettered basis. In less than 100 days, we got it in. And that first beef will literally be leaving in about 10 days. The same is true for some other things. Those were the easier deliverables. We’re now working on another list. We generally have two conference calls a day, one early in the morning our time and one late at night with the Chinese. That’s five, six, seven days a week,” said Ross to The Wall Street Journal. “The whole fabric of these discussions is different from prior ones. We aren’t interested in great long-winded debates and big ceremonial meetings and big proclamations that have no teeth. We’re interested in very specific, very tangible achievements. And we’re finding a very, very sensible give-and-take with the Chinese right now.”

Officials have yet to announce that they will be imposing more penalties with or without the World Trade Organization.

Editor’s note: China uses its open markets to steal ideas from the U.S. and starts manufacturing the same thing. Earlier this month, billionaire business magnate Guo Wengui exposed China for “offensive spying” on military technology, in particular. The U.S. companies stay in the game because of the competition, but they’re not just competing with other U.S. companies. French, German, and Japanese companies are also competing and they may be willing to take the risk of revealing their technology. The French government was once caught using their intelligence services to break into a U.S. businessman’s hotel to steal his negotiating strategies on a bid for a nuclear power plant. China’s technology boom is largely based on stolen secrets. Their intelligence apparatus in the U.S. is vast and aims at businesses, not government.

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