Trump signs memo on Chinese trade practices
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President Trump on Monday signed an executive action calling on his trade representative to decide whether to launch an investigation into China’s alleged theft of American intellectual property.

“We will safeguard the copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets and other intellectual property that is so vital to our security and to our prosperity,” Trump said during a ceremony at the White House. “It’s a very big move.”

While the measure allows U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMORE to explore a wide range of options to counteract Chinese trade practices, it does not take any immediate action against Beijing. 


The president said that his administration could take additional steps against China on trade in the future.

“This is just the beginning, I want to tell you that,” Trump said as he signed the memorandum. “This is just the beginning.” 

China’s alleged counterfeiting and piracy of U.S. technology, music and films has been a longstanding concern in Washington, but some questioned the timing of the announcement. 

It comes as the Trump administration is seeking China’s help to pressure North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons program. 

Just last week, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions against Pyongyang.

Trump brushed aside those concerns, framing a crackdown on Chinese trade practices as the fulfillment of a major campaign promise. 

“For too long, this wealth has been drained from our country while Washington has done nothing. They have never done anything about it. But Washington will turn a blind eye no longer,” he said.

Technology companies have long complained about being forced to share their intellectual property with Chinese entities in order to gain access to their market.