Trump Cautious on China Inquiry Over Intellectual Property Theft

North Korea followed up the warning from America by threatening to send four missiles towards the island of Guam- a threat that sparked yet another war of words between the country and US President Donald Trump

Trump had been expected to order a so-called Section 301 investigation under the 1974 Trade Act earlier this month, but action had been postponed as the White House pressed for China's cooperation in reining in North Korea's nuclear program.

The measure would seek to address what the US business community has described as flagrant trade violations by China, which employs a variety of rules and practices to wall its market off from foreign competition and pressure USA companies to part with valuable product designs and trade secrets - or to steal them outright.

Administration officials emphasized Saturday that they are a long way from deciding what, if any, action to take if a Section 301 is launched and finds that China has engaged in unfair trade practices.

President Donald Trump warned Friday that USA military resources were in place, "locked and loaded", should North Korea "act unwisely", as foreign leaders called on Washington and Pyongyang to end a cycle of rhetorical threats raising the specter of nuclear war. Xi, in his phone conversation with Trump, urged calm. Dialogue, negotiations and a political settlement are the fundamental ways of solving the Korean Peninsula's nuclear issue, Xi said during the call, according to China's CGTN state television network.

When reports of the potential trade investigation first emerged more than a week ago, China's Commerce Ministry stressed the importance of U.S.

The second are products that are similar to those China exports in large quantities to the USA, such as steel or petrochemical products, Sun said.

On Saturday, administration officials said the new trade measure was "totally unrelated" to events involving North Korea.

Sun said there were two kinds of Taiwanese products that could be hurt by possible trade sanctions, the most obvious being goods assembled in China before they are shipped to the U.S.

Although Beijing joined in a unanimous UN Security Council decision to tighten economic sanctions on Pyongyang over its long-range missile tests, it is not clear whether Trump thinks Beijing is doing enough.

"If Americans continue to have their best technology and intellectual property stolen, or forcibly transferred offshore, the United States will find it hard to maintain its current technology-leadership position and to remain one of the world's most innovative economies".

The American companies "should not be forced or coerced to turn over the fruits of their labor", one official said.

The loss of US manufacture jobs, as pointed out by Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, in his new book "Failure to Adjust", was more about automation that increases productivity of remaining factories in the country, which meant fewer workers working in factories. -China Economic and Security Review Commission, called the measure "a critical action, and long overdue". Though they are largely missing out on the giant consumer market, they also fear their technologies being stolen. "An important question going forward will be whether US companies and trade associations who have highlighted the problem will actually come forward and assist our government in the investigation or whether they will hide the facts, fearful that our government won't follow through, that the Chinese will retaliate against their interests or that they'll have to admit what's happened to their critical assets".

The administration probably is eager to make progress on trade, one of Trump's biggest campaign issues, after a recent series of legislative setbacks, trade experts said.

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