by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In a major slap at China, President Trump on Monday ordered an investigation into Chinese theft of American intellectual property.
“We’re going to be fulfilling another campaign promise by taking firm steps to ensure that we protect the intellectual property of American companies and, very importantly, of American workers,” Trump said in signing a memorandum for U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer.
The directive will set the stage for an investigation into trade practices that require U.S. companies operating in China to provide intellectual property to the Chinese government.
If a formal investigation is launched, it could take several years and potentially result in the imposition of economic sanctions on China.
The president’s action on predatory Chinese trade practices follows the failure by Beijing to rein in its communist ally North Korea.
In July, Trump tweeted, “I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk.”
“We will no longer allow this to continue,” he tweeted. “China could easily solve this problem!”