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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 LighthizerWhiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 MORE is reportedly in support of the plan.

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However, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience On The Money: Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed | Trump administration proposal takes aim at bank pledges to avoid fossil fuel financing | JPMorgan: Economy will shrink in first quarter due to COVID-19 spike Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed 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 TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race 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.