The United States is planning to take trade measures against China to force it to crack down on theft of intellectual property, the Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday.

President Donald Trump’s administration plans to invoke a little used clause in US trade law that allows America to probe whether China’s intellectual-property policies constitute unfair trade practices, the paper said, quoting people familiar with the matter.

Donald Trump. File photo: Gage Skidmore.

The administration wants Beijing to impose stiffer penalties on theft of intellectual property and ease obligations that US firms hoping to enter the Chinese market share advanced technology, the Journal said.

It said it is not known how long the administration will study the issue before making a decision.

The paper said officials at one point had hinted an announcement could come this week.

Xi Jinping. Photo: Michel Temer via Flickr.

Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping seemed to get off to a good start when they met in Florida in April and agreed on a 100 day action plan.

This led to exports of US beef to China for the first time since 2003.

But in mid-July a day of trade talks led to nothing.

Trump on Saturday expressed frustration with China’s behavior in the North Korea missile crisis, accusing it of not doing enough and seeming to raise the idea of reprisal against Beijing.


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