US officially launches probe into Chinese trade practices

World Today

U.S. officially launches probe into Chinese trade practices

Washington is officially launching a trade probe into China’s intellectual property practices. The announcement comes just four days after President Donald Trump asked his top trade official to consider an investigation.

CGTN White House Correspondent Jessica Stone has the details.

The White House is relying on a 1974 law predating the World Trade Organization.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says the investigation will examine whether China’s policies harm American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development.

Earlier this week, Beijing pushed back, saying the World Trade Organization is the place to resolve these disputes.

“Trade measures taken by any member of the World Trade Organization should abide by the rules of the WTO,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hua Chunying said. “We have said repeatedly before that as China and the United States are increasingly interconnected with their interests closely entwined with each other. A trade war will get them nowhere.”

If the investigation results in penalties, Beijing could retaliate with restrictions of its own. These could focus on agricultural goods like rice, soybeans and beef. China is also expected to file a complaint against the U.S. at the WTO.

The last time that happened was in 1998. The U.S. won the case.

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