Donald Trump has been trying to get China to take care of his North Korea problem. President Xi Jinping had dinner with Trump at Mar-a-Largo earlier this year, and 45 seemed to believe that he had delegated the volatile North Korea problem to Xi, based upon Trump’s own charisma and charm. The U.S. president was wrong, and his next action will only make matters worse.
Trump advised Xi that he plans to investigate Chinese trade practices, according to CNN Money. A U.S. National Security Council official said that this was all about “intellectual property:”
‘The United States government can, and does, work with countries to address serious concerns such as North Korea while also pursuing measures to address economic concerns, such as the theft of U.S. intellectual property.’
Intellectual property was apparently the first step in Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on Chinese imports if the country does not take further actions against Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. China and the U.S. have been the biggest world economies. By imposing tariffs, 45 will shift the basic platform of the existing trade relationship.
Trump will likely order U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to investigate alleged Chinese violations of U.S. intellectual property rights, according to a senior official. China is responsible for about 90 percent of North Korea’s foreign trade and is unwilling to change that dynamic. A Chinese government spokesperson told CNN Money that it had “always attached importance to intellectual property:”
‘We would like to emphasize that the Chinese government has always attached importance to intellectual property protection. The results are there for all to see.’
In a rare rash of press conferences over his vacation at his New Jersey golf resort, Trump called on China to do “a lot more,” CNN Money reported:
‘I think China can do a lot more. And I think China will do a lot more.’
Trump wanted to kick off his Chinese trade investigation last week, but he waited until China voted to expand U.N. sanctions against Korea. Economists working at the Institute of International Finance wrote in a research note, CNN Money reported:
‘Protection measures against some specific items, such as steel and aluminum, may gain political favors, but are not likely to be of much help to rebalance trade.’
Check out this video of Donald Trump’s harsh attitude toward China trade policy during his 2016 campaign via YouTube:
Featured Image via Getty Images/Drew Angerer.