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12 August 2017, 10:21 | Opal Carroll
NICHOLAS KAMM AFP Getty Images
The comments by the Global Times came after President Donald Trump raised the level of his rhetoric against North Korea on Thursday, saying his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough. "But if China helps us, I feel a lot differently toward trade - a lot differently toward trade".
But trade and national security experts widely noted that the trade announcement appeared to have been delayed until after China joined the United States in voting for sanction against North Korea at a United Nations Security Council session on August 5.
President Trump plans to get tougher on trade with China.
The officials would not confirm reports that the trade action Trump plans to initiate on Monday had been delayed more than a week, until the administration secured China's support last week to win a unanimous vote in the U.N. Security Council for imposing new sanctions on North Korea.
It's impossible, however, to see the move as somehow disconnected from the back-and-forth rhetoric between the US and North Korea over the past week.
The president plans to sign an executive memorandum Monday afternoon directing his top trade negotiator to determine whether to investigate China for harming intellectual property, innovation and technology, senior administration officials said in a conference call Saturday morning. The North responded with a warning that it was considering an attack on the US territory of Guam.
It wasn't immediately clear how China would react to the move. They added that the trade measure would be carried out under the rules of global law and would not trigger greater conflict with China. "The results are there for all to see".
In addition to the USA, the EU, Japan, Germany and Canada have all expressed concern about China's behavior on intellectual property theft.
It may also prove to be a source of leverage to push China to do more to help contain a rising security threat from North Korea, which counts Beijing as its only powerful ally.
The administration has been eyeing other moves to rebalance the U.S.
"Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet. they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk".
"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", economists at the Institute of International Finance wrote in a research note this week.
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