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China warns ‘all appropriate measures’ against US’ trade probe

Trump administration officials have estimated that theft of intellectual property by China could be as high as $600 billion

world Updated: Aug 21, 2017 18:26 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Beijing
US-China,US probe into China IPR,Intellectual property rights
US President Donald Trump signs a memorandum on addressing China’s laws, policies, practices, and actions related to intellectual property, innovation, and technology at the White House in Washington, DC, on August 14.(AFP File Photo)

China on Monday warned that it will take “all appropriate measures” in response to probe ordered by US President Donald Trump into Beijing’s IPR violations, which could have adverse impact on the trade ties between the world’s top two economies.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Friday formally initiated an investigation into China’s intellectual property (IP) practices under a rarely used trade law, sparking worries in Beijing over its lucrative trade ties with Washington.

Section 301, once heavily used in the 1980s and the early 1990s, allows the US to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions on foreign countries.

But the US has rarely used the outdated trade tool since the World Trade Organsation (WTO) came into being in 1995.

Without specifying the measures, a spokesperson of China’s ministry of Commerce (MOC) said China will take “all appropriate measures” to defend interests and will keep an eye on the investigation, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Terming the move as “irresponsible”, the spokesperson said the US criticism of China’s IP protection was “not objective.”

“China is strongly discontented about such unilateral, protectionist practice,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Since the historic meeting between the presidents of both countries in April, the two sides have made solid progress, and the launch of the investigation sent a wrong signal to the world, the official said.

The spokesperson called for the US to make joint efforts with China to promote economic cooperation under the one-year plan and to strive to obtain bigger results.

“We urge the United States to respect facts, respect wishes from businesses of both countries for cooperation, respect multilateral rules, and act with prudence,” the spokesperson said.

The US-China bilateral trade last year totalled to $ 578.6 billion.

China had the lion’s share with its exports to US amounting to $ 462.8 billion against US export of $ 115.8 billion.

The US goods trade deficit with China amounted to $ 347.0 billion, according to official figures.

First Published: Aug 21, 2017 18:25 IST