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U.S. Trade Action Against China Snared in Legal Concerns

(Demetri Sevastopulo – Financial Times)

The Trump administration’s largest anticipated trade move against China has become bogged down in an internal debate focused in large part on legal concerns, even while Beijing is stepping up a frantic lobbying campaign to avert confrontation.

President Donald Trump launched the investigation into China’s intellectual property regime and the forced transfer of technology by United States companies last summer, declaring at the time that “this is just the beginning” of a promised fight against unfair trade practices around the world.

The so-called Section 301 investigation has since then become the centrepiece of a trade crackdown on China that the US is eager to launch this year.

Expectations in Washington are that it would lead to a combination of investment measures and tariffs aimed at Beijing, with which it last year amassed a US$375 billion (S$494.9 billion) trade deficit in goods. Click here to read more.

Related: Trump Keeps Up Rhetoric But May Still Heed Advice on China Trade (Asia Times)