Trump administration weighs sanctions over Chinese hackers: report

Trump administration weighs sanctions over Chinese hackers: report
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The Trump administration is reportedly considering using an Obama-era executive order to slap new sanctions on Chinese entities using cyberattacks to steal U.S. intellectual property.

Bloomberg News reported Friday that administration officials are discussing using an executive order that authorizes U.S. officials to impose the sanctions on those taking part in “malicious cyber-enabled activities.” U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerChinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report The Trump economy keeps roaring ahead Trump says no discussion of extending deadline in Chinese trade talks MORE is reportedly in support of the plan.

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However, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Fed pick Moore says he will drop out if he becomes a 'political problem' | Trump vows to fight 'all the subpoenas' | Deutsche Bank reportedly turning Trump records over to NY officials | Average tax refund down 2 percent Poll: About half of voters say Congress should focus on getting Trump's tax returns The Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? MORE, whose department would implement the sanctions, opposes the move and has stopped the measure from moving forward, according to Bloomberg.

A spokesperson for Lighthizer declined to comment to Bloomberg, and a Treasury Department spokesperson did not return the outlet's request for comment. The Hill has reached out to the White House and Treasury Department for comment. 

The Trump administration has slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods over the past few months, escalating a trade war between the two countries. The U.S. government has citied national security in imposing the measures, alleging Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpForget the spin: Five unrefuted Mueller Report revelations Lara Trump: Merkel admitting migrants 'one of the worst things that ever happened to Germany' Financial satisfaction hits record high: survey MORE most recently on Friday threatened to impose another $267 billion in tariffs on Chinese products, on top of $200 billion in tariffs he promised one day earlier.

If the U.S. adopted the new trade measures, it would mean the country will have placed tariffs on $517 billion worth of Chinese goods, the entire value of all Chinese imports into the United States.

Lawmakers and trade groups have both called on Trump to stop adding further tariffs, which have sparked retaliatory trade measures from Beijing.

The Trump administration has offered aid to farmers impacted by the retaliatory trade moves, which include tariffs on U.S. crops like soy beans.