President Donald Trump is poised to unveil sanctions against China for the “theft” of US intellectual property Thursday, a White House official said, teeing up a second potential trade war in as many months.
Spokesman Raj Shah told AFP that Trump will announce actions following an “investigation into China’s state-led, market-distorting efforts to force, pressure, and steal US technologies and intellectual property.”
Beijing has already warned the Trump administration against the move, urging him not act “emotionally.”
It is just weeks since Trump short-circuited White House deliberations and announced a raft of sanctions on foreign-produced steel and aluminum off the cuff.
That move prompted the resignation of top economic advisor Gary Cohn, a stock market selloff, legal disputes and threats of retaliatory measures.
On Wednesday Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the prospect of a trade war as a growing threat to the world’s largest economy.
But the impulsive president is showing no sign of backing down.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer recently proposed a separate package of $30 billion in tariffs on China.
Trump appears to have agreed at least that amount, as he tries to fulfil campaign promises to get tough on trade distortions, which he says have destroyed American jobs.
The US trade deficit with China ran to a record $375 billion last year — but US exports to the country were also at a record.
Washington has long accused Beijing of forcing US companies to turn over proprietary commercial information and intellectual property as a condition of operating in China.
Here’s why Trump is right — a recession would likely doom his re-election
President Donald Trump is worried that there will be a recession before the 2020 election. For once, he is right about something.
"The Economy is strong and good, whereas the rest of the world is not doing so well. Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party, are working overtime to convince people that we are in, or will soon be going into, a Recession," Trump tweeted on Friday in a clear attempt to assuage concerns. "They are willing to lose their wealth, or a big part of it, just for the possibility of winning the Election. But it won’t work because I always find a way to win, especially for the people!"
WATCH: Climate activists chant ‘failure of leadership’ at Tom Perez after DNC votes against climate debate
Activists walked out of the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting in San Francisco after the organization voted against allowing a climate change debate during the 2020 primary.
DNC Chair Tom Perez imposed strict rules on the debates, which prevented a climate change debate from occurring. Climate activists had forced a vote, hoping to overrule the party boss.
"The Democratic Party needs the energy, motivation, and organizing capacity of young people to defeat Trump in 2020. But Tom Perez keeps shooting the party in the foot by rejecting that energy and turning it away," the Sunrise Movement said in a statement.