President Donald Trump launched the next salvo in his widening war on Chinese trade abuses, this time taking aim at China’s unfair seizure of US intellectual property.
Trump on Thursday directed the US trade representative to level tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese imports following a seven-month investigation into the intellectual property theft, which has been a longstanding point of contention in US-China trade relations. In addition to the tariffs, the US also plans to impose new investment restrictions, take action against China at the World Trade Organization and the Treasury Department also will propose additional measures.
Trump signaled the tariffs would affect “about $60 billion” of Chinese imports, but administration officials said the figure would be closer to $50 billion.
“We have a tremendous intellectual property theft problem,” Trump said. “It’s going to make us a much stronger, much richer nation.”
Wall Street is nervous about a trade war
The move, which comes on the heels of the administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs that also took aim at China, has already been met with threats of retaliation from China and is heightening concerns of a global trade war that could destabilize the global economy — fears the Trump administration has repeatedly brushed off.
China: We will fight a trade war ‘to the end’