While US Initiates Probe Into China Trade, China Won't 'Sit By'

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According to a recent report of the US-based Institute of International Finance, "A trade war between United States and China will hurt not only Chinese manufacturers, but also upstream suppliers and downstream distributors such as United States retailers".

The move was expected after President Donald Trump asked Lighthizer to review China's practices. It allows the President of the U.S. to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions against foreign countries.

Analysis says that US President Trump's order to look into China's trade practices is a multi-purpose move to pressure China to pressure North Korea to give up nuclear weapons and missiles, and hold China in check, a G2 member country rising fast economically, militarily and diplomatically. "We will safeguard the copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets and other intellectual property that are so vital to our security and to our prosperity". When he signed the order for the "investigation", he said that "Washington will turn a blind eye no longer" to what he called Beijing's "theft" of US intellectual property. The newspaper quoted Chad Brown, a trade specialist at the Peterson Institute of International Economics (PIIE), warning the U.S. that China can use the USA at the WTO. He said he had been actively pressuring within the Trump administration for the imposition of tough restrictions against China's trade.

Moreover, many United States companies report facing vague and unwritten rules, as well as local rules that diverge from national ones, which are applied in a selective and non- transparent manner by the Chinese government officials to pressure technology transfer, it said.

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Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, described the use of Section 301 as dusting off an outdated United States trade law that allows the USA president to unilaterally impose tariffs on another country. It said its trade ties with the USA and North Korea's nuclear program are two unrelated issues and "should not be discussed together". The President's Memorandum emphasized that "the United States is a world leader in research-and-development-intensive, high-technology goods", and that "violations of intellectual property rights and other unfair technology transfers potentially threaten United States firms by undermining their ability to compete fairly in the global market". China had made efforts for IPR protection in recent years in the administrative and judicial aspects and produced positive results through enhancing global cooperation and exchanges and China hoped that the USTR would act prudently by paying attention to these objective facts, Xinhua said.

Beijing, however, called on Washington not to politicize bilateral trade ties.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry also warned the United States that if the USA does not respect the multilateral rules and takes unilateral measures, China will never take any chances on the U.S. and use all means available to protect China's legitimate interests.

-China relations and elicit a strong response from Chinese leadership.

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