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White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Thursday that President Donald Trump would soon consider new punitive measures against China for its alleged “theft” of intellectual property.
U.S. officials, according to news accounts, are considering imposing as much as $60 billion in annual tariffs against Chinese information technology, telecommunications and consumer exports to the U.S. in an effort to trim its chronic annual trade deficit with Beijing by $100 billion. Last year, the U.S. says it imported Chinese goods worth $375 billion more than it exported to China.
“In the coming weeks, President Trump is going to have on his desk some recommendations,” Navarro told CNBC. “This will be one of the many steps the president is going to courageously take in order to address unfair trade practices.
“I don’t think there’s a single person … on Wall Street that will oppose cracking down on China’s theft of our intellectual property or their forced transfer,” Navarro said.
The new tariffs and other measures would be in addition to the 25 percent tariff on steel imports to the U.S. and 10 percent levy on aluminum that Trump announced last week, some of which affect China.
At a political fundraiser Wednesday, Trump attacked several trading partners for the billions of dollars in trade surpluses they have built up against the U.S. He contended that China had become an economic power — the world’s second biggest economy — because of its trade surplus with the United States.
China warned it would likely retaliate against any new tariffs the U.S. imposes.
Foreign minister spokesman Lu Kang said, “History has proven that a trade war is in no one’s interest.”
He said that “if an undesirable situation arises, China has the intention of safeguarding its legitimate rights.”
Trump’s new tariffs on metal imports have led in recent days to volatility on U.S. stock exchanges, with wide day-to-day swings of hundreds of points in stock indexes.
But Navarro said the U.S. can impose the tariffs in a way that can be good for the American people and good for the global trading system. We can do this in a way that is peaceful and will improve and strengthen the trading system. … Everybody on Wall Street needs to understand: Just relax.”