According to two administration officials, the White House is preparing to announce on Thursday its intention to eventually impose tariffs and other trade restrictions on China.
President Donald Trump plans to describe the results of the investigation of the United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthiser, on allegations that China is violating the intellectual property rights of the United States. UU., Forcing US companies to transfer valuable technology to Beijing.
The Lighthizer Office has determined that the United States is losing at least $ 30 billion a year for the alleged forced transfer of technology from China. As POLITICO reported last week, the administration weighs a tariff package equivalent to this amount of Chinese imports or more.
Trump’s senior advisers analyzed the remedies to be imposed in response to the investigation within a few months, and developed proposals on tariffs, investment restrictions and even visa limits for China.
But it is unclear if the president will make any concrete response public on Thursday. People familiar with the internal debate said that discussions continued on what actions the administration should take. Instead, Trump could simply instruct key agencies on how to complete the proposals in the coming weeks or months.
The timing of Thursday’s announcement may fail, especially if the snowstorm closes most of Washington in the middle of the week. The White House declined to comment on Tuesday.
However, the business community urged congressional business leaders to donate to Lighthizer, which this week is to testify on Capitol Hill, about what the administration hopes to achieve. Trump was given the right to impose trade restrictions in accordance with section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.
“The main objective of the Section 301 investigation should be to bring China to the negotiating table for a meaningful resolution of specific problems, step by step, with the ultimate goal of eliminating insulting practices and policies. Unilateral premature sanctions will achieve this goal, “said the president of the national foreign trade, Rufus Erxa, in a letter sent to the Republican and democratic leaders of the houses and funds management committees and the Senate on Tuesday.
The expected 300-page report, which the administration collects as part of its study of China’s intellectual property and technology policy, provides some guidelines on what China should do to curb this practice, said a source familiar with its content.
But Trump’s tariff activity is ready to move forward, apparently it is more focused on gaining influence over China than achieving methodical participation, which will be preferred by US companies, said an administration official involved in the planning.
“There is an acknowledgment that you must hit a bully in the face,” the official said. “This is the best explanation of what is happening here.”