Intellectual property theft & other concerns could initiate an investigation into China, potentially leading to tariffs.
According to a report by Axios, U.S. President Donald Trump is considering tough measures to crackdown on China’s trade & industrial policies.
Particular areas of focus are the theft of intellectual property through forced technology transfers, and possible “national security” tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from China.
Per Axios, “Trump could signal, or implicitly direct, the U.S.Trade Representative to “self-initiate” an investigation of China under section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act. Initiating an investigation under this section could result in either a new WTO dispute between the U.S. and China or unilateral retaliation by the Trump administration. It’s too early to say what form that could take, but all tools, including tariffs, would be on the table.“
Trump’s moves echo growing concerns in much of the world regarding China’s manipulation of trade deals. While China has benefited from other countries opening up their economics to trade and investment with the communist state, many nations have seen their intellectual property stolen, manufacturing jobs bleed away, and working class and middle income wages stagnate.
A tough U.S. response to China has been pushed by the economic nationalists in the White House – particularly Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Director of Trade and Industrial Policy Peter Navarro. Navarro also directed the documentary “Death by China,” an in-depth look into China’s trade policies, and their severe impact.
If the Trump administration takes strong action against China, it could spur other countries to do the same. Of course, Canada would appear to be an exception to that, as the Trudeau government has been acting as an extension of the Chinese government within Canada. They have been letting China buy up some of our most sensitive national security companies, and constantly downplay any concerns about human rights or foreign government influence.
Many Canadians fear that Trudeau’s obsession with gaining the favour of China’s communist government could have a negative impact on NAFTA negotiations with the U.S.
Time will tell.