By: Penny Starr
The Chinese state-run newspaper China Daily warned on Monday that President Donald Trump’s proposed investigation into unfair Chinese trade practices could “poison” relations between the communist regime and the United States.
Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Monday to ask his trade office to take up the probe, the Associated Press reported.
“Trump wants officials to look at Chinese practices that force American companies to share intellectual property in order to gain access to the world’s second-largest economy,” AP reported.
U.S. businesses have to create joint ventures with Chinese companies and provide valuable technology assets, a requirement that Washington believes hurts U.S. economic growth, according to AP.
“In an editorial, the official China Daily said it was critical the Trump administration doesn’t make a rash decision it will regret,” Reuters reported.
Given Trump’s transactional approach to foreign affairs, it is impossible to look at the matter without taking into account his increasing disappointment at what he deems as China’s failure to bring into line the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. His idea of exploiting trade as a bargaining chip in dealings with China dates back to the campaign trail.
The investigation into Chinese trade practices comes at a time when the Trump administration is seeking China’s help in pressuring North Korea regarding its nuclear ambitions, which is noted in the editorial.
By trying to incriminate Beijing as an accomplice in the DPRK’s nuclear adventure and blame it for a failure that is essentially a failure of all stakeholders, Trump risks making the serious mistake of splitting up the international coalition that is the means to resolve the issue peacefully.
Hopefully Trump will find another path. Things will become even more difficult if Beijing and Washington are pitted against each other.
Reuters reported that the investigation could eventually lead to steep tariffs on Chinese goods, which Trump has said he may support.