US Democrats Support Trump’s China Probe in Rare Bipartisan Move
Washington: Three senior Democratic senators, in a rare show of bipartisanship, asked Wednesday for US President Donald Trump to fight in China, which is preparing to launch an investigation into intellectual property trading practices and Next Beijing days.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer urged the Republican president to omit the poll and move directly to trade action against China.
“We should definitely go,” Schumer said in a statement. Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Sherrod Brown of Ohio also urged Trump to slow down in China.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing have intensified in recent months as Trump urged China to reduce steel production to mitigate global oversupply and halt North Korea’s missile program.
Sources familiar with the ongoing talks said that Trump was issuing a presidential memorandum in the coming days, citing the problem of intellectual property theft in China. The EU, Japan, Germany and Canada have expressed concern over China’s behavior in relation to intellectual property theft.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer then initiates an investigation under the Commerce Act of 1974, Section 301, which allows the president to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions to protect US industries, according to sources.
It is not known whether such an investigation could lead to trade sanctions against China, Beijing is almost certain to call into question the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The Chinese embassy in Washington said in a statement sent to Reuters that China “is opposed to unilateral actions and trade protectionism in any form.”
A spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce told reporters in Beijing Thursday that China places great emphasis on intellectual property rights and that all WTO members must respect the rules of the organization.
“We hope the positive momentum of cooperation will continue” following the latest bilateral exchanges, said Trade Ministry spokesman Gao Feng.
Taking advantage of negotiations
Surveys of Article 301 of the United States did not result in trade sanctions since the WTO was launched in 1995. In the 1980s, Article 301 customs duties were taken on motorcycles, steel and other Japanese products.
“It could simply be a basis for bilateral negotiations,” said James Bacchus, former Chief Justice of the WTO and head of the USTR, a Chinese study on intellectual property.
Some trade lawyers said that the WTO does not have jurisdiction over investment rules such as China’s requirements that foreign companies transfer technology to their joint venture partners, allowing the sanctions to go outside the dispute settlement system Of the WTO.
But Baco argued that the United States are required to go first to the Geneva-based institution to resolve trade disputes, adding, “The WTO is required to enforce intellectual property rights are not fully explored.”
Lighthizer and Trump trade secretary Wilbur Ross have complained that the WTO is slow to resolve conflicts and is partly contrary to the United States.