The White House issued a statement Tuesday morning declaring that it would be taking more steps to protect the intellectual property of US companies from China.
According to the statement, the US is planning to impose 25% tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports. The list of affected goods will be announced on June 15. Meanwhile, the US will issue investment restrictions and export controls for Chinese groups and people on June 30.
- WHITE HOUSE ISSUES STATEMENT ON STEPS TO PROTECT IP FROM CHINA
- U.S. TO ANNOUNCE PROPOSED INVESTMENT RESTRICTIONS, ENHANCED EXPORT CONTROLS FOR CHINESE PEOPLE AND GROUPS BY JUNE 30
Once again, the US cited "national security" as the reason for the tariffs, which will impact "industrially significant technology, including those related to the 'Made in China 2025' program".
"To protect our national security, the United States will implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese persons and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology," the release said. "The proposed investment restrictions and enhanced export controls will be announced by June 30, 2018, and they will be implemented shortly thereafter."
"Under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, the United States will impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China containing industrially significant technology, including those related to the "Made in China 2025" program," the release said.
The news comes a day after Chinese and US representatives battled at the World Trade Organization over US President Donald Trump's claim that China is stealing American technology. According to Chinese law, foreign firms hoping to do business in China often must partner with local firms, with whom they're expected to share their technology. This practice has been going on for years. The US said Tuesday morning that it will continue "pursuing litigation" at the WTO, where it filed a complaint accusing China of improperly stealing technology, while China has filed a complaint of its own over US steel tariffs. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier that the US and China had both put a hold on tariffs and agreed to a deal framework.
"This is not the rule of law. In fact, it is China’s laws themselves that enable this coercion," U.S. Ambassador Dennis Shea told the World Trade Organization's dispute settlement body, according to a copy of his remarks obtained by Reuters.
"Fundamentally, China has made the decision to engage in a systematic, state-directed, and non-market pursuit of other (WTO) members’ cutting-edge technology in service of China’s industrial policy."
China has long denied that it requires these technology transfers.
"There is no forced technology transfer in China," China’s Ambassador Zhang Xiangchen told the meeting, adding that the U.S. argument involved a "presumption of guilt."
"But the fact is, nothing in these regulatory measures requires technology transfer from foreign companies."
Legal experts say Washington needs the WTO's backing before it can legally move forward with implementing the tariffs that it has threatened. According to WTO rules, any dispute not settled within 60 days must be adjudicated by a panel of experts.
US and China have been holding high-level talks about trade for the past several weeks, but it appears they've made little progress.
Unlike other trade news, the headlines didn't have much of an impact on stocks, which already have enough to worry about today thanks to Italy...