US Formally Begins Probe of China Technology Transfer

Claudine Rigal
Août 19, 2017

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer officially started a probe into China's intellectual-property practices, less than a week after President Donald Trump asked him to consider the move.

"After consulting with stakeholders and other government agencies, I have determined that these critical issues merit a thorough investigation". He made the announcement just four days after Mr. Trump directed Mr. Lighthizer to look into the.

The US has been concerned about these matters for some time, said Gary Hufbauer, from the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

America, he added, will no longer tolerate Beijing's "theft" of U.S. industrial secrets.

On Friday the U.S. said it planned to look into hacking and reports that the Chinese government is steering investment into USA companies in key industries as a way to gain access to new technology.

USTR said an inter-agency panel will hold a public hearing October 10, and it invited those interested in the issue to submit comments by September 28.

Mr Hufbauer said it's a "foregone conclusion" that the United States will find evidence of unfair practices, but it's not clear how the Trump administration will proceed after that.

Penalties might be targeted against individual companies, or more wide-ranging, he added, which will shape China's reaction.

According to the US Department of Commerce, the total value of exports from and imports to China amounted to $115.6 and $462.6 billion in 2016, respectively.

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