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US Trade Act won't impede China's progress

By Mei Xinyu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-14 08:55

US President Donald Trump will sign an executive memorandum on Monday authorizing the US trade representative to determine whether to investigate China's intellectual property and trade practices, which could pave the way for Trump to use Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to impose tariffs on Chinese goods and eventually trigger a trade war.

Section 301 authorizes the US president to impose trade sanctions on countries that are judged to have violated trade agreements or engaged in unfair trade practices. Since 1989, the US has issued a Special 301 Report every year, focusing on intellectual property rights. The US Trade Representative put China on the "Priority Watch List" in 1989, and in 1991, the United States threatened China "with reciprocal sanctions in the form of 100 percent tariffs" imposed on a list of goods. Under this threat based on section 301, China narrowly averted an outright trade war by agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding on the Protection of Intellectual Property in 1992.

In the next two decades, the US Trade Representative launched many investigations into Chinese companies. Despite that, the Chinese economy has developed robustly.

US Trade Act won't impede China's progress

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