President Trump plans to get tougher on trade with China.
United States President Donald Trump will sign an executive memorandum on Monday authorizing the USA trade representative to determine whether to investigate China's intellectual property and trade or not.
In a phone call earlier this weekend, Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping "agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behaviour", according to a White House statement released after the phone call.
Any investigation could take as long as a year once it is formally launched, and will likely include a public comment period and a hearing, the official said.
The latest step follows the opening by the Trump administration of several other investigations into Chinese commercial practices, notably in the steel sector.
Several administration officials outlined the highly preliminary trade action to reporters Saturday, suggesting - contrary to Trump's own statements - that trade policy toward China is divorced from any national security concern, including North Korea.
The announcement will come amid rising tensions between the USA and North Korea.
Politico said it was not clear how much detail Mr Trump would provide in his announcement, but that officials expected US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to open a Section 301 probe.
In a statement, Macron voiced his "concern at the ballistic and nuclear threat coming from North Korea", saying the worldwide community needed to work to get Pyongyang to "resume the path of dialogue without conditions".
The trade investigation could strain relations between the US and China as the two countries wrestle with the unpredictable situation over North Korea.
"An important question going forward will be whether US companies and trade associations who have highlighted the problem will actually come forward and assist our government in the investigation" - Michael Wessel, member of the U.S.
"We're at the beginning of this process and no firm decisions have been made as to how that is going to work in terms of whether we would pursue WTO action or action outside the WTO", the first administration official said. "If China helps us, I feel a lot different toward trade". -China trade ties and of resolving differences "through dialogue and consultation". "President Trump is committed to protect America's intellectual property and national security", the official said. "The results are there for all to see".
Mr Trump will make a day trip to Washington, DC, tomorrow, briefly interrupting his 17-day August working vacation, a White House official said on Friday.
The decision will not only take action against alleged Chinese violations of USA companies' intellectual property rights, but could also be perceived as an attempt by the US government to crank up the pressure on Beijing to rein in North Korea. They know how I feel. "Numerous concerns about IP-related antitrust enforcement have been focused on China", the FTC statement said. President Trump has previously chastised China for not doing enough about the hermit nation, however, an administration official said the move Monday is unrelated to North Korea.
The trade investigation is expected to be only one part of a multi-pronged push by the Trump administration to counter perceived Chinese trade abuses, which Trump frequently railed against as a candidate.
The US Federal Trade Commission warned Congress about China's IP protection practices a year ago, after determining that efforts to advise Beijing to avoid opaque procedures with respect to its antitrust regulations had largely failed.
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