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 LighthizerOn The Money: Economy adds 164K jobs in July | Trump signs two-year budget deal, but border showdown looms | US, EU strike deal on beef exports Chinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report The Trump economy keeps roaring ahead MORE is reportedly in support of the plan.

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However, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump grapples with Turkey controversy Trump hypes China trade deal as new doubts emerge Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump to slap sanctions on Turkey for Syria offensive | Trump calls on Turkey to broker ceasefire | Pelosi, Graham seek deal on sanctions | Ex-Trump aide testifies in impeachment probe 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 TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? 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.