Global geo-political Series: Trump team considering trade action against China


"China welcomes USA states, including MI, to. enhance bilateral trade and investment, . and consolidate and expand cooperative consensus to create better development opportunities and jobs for both countries' peoples", Li told Snyder, according to a Chinese government statement.

According to an official speaking with Reuters, Trump is encouraging U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer to enact an investigation into Chinese trade under the 1974 Trade Act section 301, which allows the President of the apply various restrictions against alleged "unfair trade practices" of other countries, or against countries that engage in "discriminatory" actions that "burden" U.S. interests.

Washington is planning to open a probe into Chinese trade practices that include alleged violations of US intellectual property, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The reports, citing unnamed people familiar with the situation, come as the administration signals a harsher stance on trade than it took in the first six months of Trump's presidency.

According to the daily, American business frustration with Chinese trade and market-access practices has mounted in recent years, with United States business groups urging the government to take a tougher trade line with China.

Tensions have risen however as the U.S. believes China should be taking more action to curb the threat of North Korea, after a ratcheting up of its missile programme since the start of the year. But tensions bubbled up last month at a U.S.

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times also reported that USA trade officials are discussing ways to counter piracy of copyrights and patents and other intellectual property in China.

On Tuesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in Beijing, where he encouraged USA states to increase investment and two-way trade.

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times stories also said USA officials were looking into using Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act.

Moreover, it argues trade between China and the United States benefits both sides and that Beijing is willing to work with Washington to improve their trade relationship.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross accused China of "distorting" markets in a Tuesday Wall Street Journal opinion piece, saying this occurs because they are "not a market economy".

China has adopted a policy of attempting to become a leading manufacturer of autonomous cars, artificial intelligence and other technology by 2025. Though he has at times sought a more conciliatory approach, Trump also has lambasted China over such problems and over the massive US trade deficit.