Alwaght- The US is reportedly mulling imposing punitive tariffs on Chinese imports, with the focus being on telecommunications and technology sectors.
Reuters cited three unnamed sources as saying that US President Donald Trump is eying imposing tariffs on $60 billion of Chinese imports and will target the technology and telecommunications sectors.
Washington contemplated the tariffs after accusing Chinese technology companies of intellectual property theft, alleging that US companies have been forced to give up their technological secrets in order to continue operating in China.
"Trump is targeting Chinese high technology companies to punish China for its investment policies that effectively force U.S. companies to give up their technology secrets in exchange for being allowed to operate in the country, as well as for other IP practices Washington considers unfair," Reuters reported
This comes after Politico reported that Trump had turned down an initial $30 billion proposal that was drawn up last week by US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer.
Lighthizer ordered an investigation in August 2017, which claims to follow up with a USTR memorandum signed by Trump on August 14, 2017. The president aimed to set a policy that would improve America’s economic growth, “contribute favorably to our balance of trade,” and “strengthen the American manufacturing base,” and more.
"Violations of intellectual property rights and other unfair technology transfers potentially threaten United States firms by undermining their ability to compete fairly in the global market,” the executive order said.
Lighthizer cites Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which authorizes US authorities to create a “retaliation list” of goods to sanction in the event the US feels threatened economically.
Trump’s protectionist tactics were a part of his promise to shield American workers from imports and his first action as president was to pull the United States out of the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
As of December 2017, the US has run a massive $375 billion trade deficit with Beijing, but in order to cull America’s underperforming exports, Trump has persistently demanded that Chinese leadership draft a comprehensive proposal to reduce the deficit.
"China has been asked to develop a plan for the year of a One Billion Dollar reduction in their massive Trade Deficit with the United States,” Trump tweeted on March 7. “Our relationship with China has been a very good one, and we look forward to seeing what ideas they come back with. We must act soon."
However, Trump has pushed forward with his agenda by slapping Chinese industries with harsh tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the US and insisting on giving preferential treatment to global allies based on favorable military and economic alliances.