Trump has accused China of failing to rein in the nuclear ambitions of its ally North Korea, even as he makes ever sharper threats against Pyongyang.
Officials at the White House and Lighthizer's office were not immediately available for comment.
Gordon Sun (孫明德), director of the Economic Forecasting Center under the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, warned that if the US eventually imposes trade sanctions against China, "Taiwan should not take pleasure in (China's) misfortune". Pyongyang this week threatened to fire missiles near the USA territory of Guam during an exchange of bellicose rhetoric with Trump.
An administration official, however, insisted diplomacy over North Korea and the potential trade probe were "totally unrelated", saying the trade action was not a pressure tactic. "They know how I feel", he told reporters on Thursday. -China trading relationship. But analysts have cautioned that Trump faces a huge challenge in his desire to significantly reduce the USA trade deficit with China, which a year ago stood at more than $300 billion.
Additional evidence of a connection between the trade action and the North Korea crisis comes from the fact the executive memorandum Trump will sign on Monday was originally expected more than a week ago. That effort passed by a 15-0 vote.
-China trade, the USA side should also see China's notable progress in protecting intellectual property, said Kuhn. From lamps to birthday candles, from flip-flops to mouse traps, "Made in China" goods have long become an indispensable part of everyday life for many USA households. "This is simply business between two countries".
Despite Mr. Trump's promises to be tougher than previous presidents on trade, his administration has proceeded with high levels of caution.
The American companies "should not be forced or coerced to turn over the fruits of their labor", one official said. "The current trajectory is unsustainable". Xi "stressed that China and the USA share the same interests on the denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula". "If China helps us, I feel a lot different toward trade". "China is widely recognized to be the biggest source of the problem", the official added.
Trump was reported to direct U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to determine if an investigation is warranted of "any of China's laws, policies, practices or actions that may be unreasonable or discriminatory, and that may be harming American intellectual property, innovation and technology". He later told reporters the U.S.is looking carefully at. Such an investigation easily could last a year.
Since the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established in 1995, the USA has not imposed any trade investigations or sanctions based on Section 301 because that kind of unilateral action violates WTO rules requiring trade disputes among its members to be addressed on the WTO platform.
The officials said that matter, and the trade issue, are not linked.
The Trump administration is already investigating Chinese commercial practices on several fronts, notably whether steel and aluminum imports were jeopardizing national security. That initiative sets forth a long-term plan for China's dominance in a wide variety of high-tech industries, including electric vehicles, advanced medical products and robotics. "There could be tariffs, there could be some sort of negotiated settlement, there could be a number of other things that are out there - and, obviously, we haven't made any decision on that at this point", a third administration official said. The administration could also decide to use the information gathered in a Section 301 probe to file a case against China at the World Trade Organization, rather than acting unilaterally, the official added.