However, if the Trump administration moves away from resolving trade disputes through the WTO and instead starts taking unilateral actions, the United States could face retaliation by other trading partners, warned Froman.
USA senior administration officials have said Trump will sign an administrative memorandum on Monday ordering the Office of the United States Trade Representative to start a Section 301 investigation into China's trade practices, including alleged intellectual property theft.
Trump said Friday that he planned to call Chinese President Xi Jinping that evening. "This is why the president has chosen to act now and to act boldly", one administration official said. The investigation is being ordered under US Trade Act of 1974, which officials said permits the USTR to investigate acts, policies or practices of a foreign country to determine whether they are indeed unreasonable or discriminatory that burden or otherwise restrict US commerce.
But trade and national security experts widely noted that the announcement appeared to have been delayed until after China joined the United States in voting for sanctions against North Korea at a United Nations Security Council session on August 5. Trump made addressing the USA trade deficit with China a centerpiece of his campaign a year ago, and has suggested raising tariffs on goods from China. Pyongyang this week threatened to fire missiles near the USA territory of Guam during an exchange of bellicose rhetoric with Trump.
"China's been engaged in the theft and forced transfer of US technologies and intellectual property for years", added Mr. Wessel, a former Democratic congressional staff member.
Yang said that before joining the WTO in 2002, Taiwan had been subjected to the Section 301 investigations because its trade regulations had not been aligned with global norms.
Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, a popular trade tool in the 1980s that has been rarely used in the past decade, allows the president to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions to protect USA industries from "unfair trade practices" of foreign countries. "The administration has been unable to make progress on these issues in dialogues with China, including as part of the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue", Wyden said previously.
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Chinese commercial policy aimed to acquire and absorb the intellectual property of the United States and other countries around the world, according to the officials. "The results are there for all to see".
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.
The administration official who confirmed that Trump would sign the order contended it was unrelated to the showdown with North Korea.
However, Bown was anxious that the Trump administration "hasn't really yet identified a strategy to engage China on the long-term systemic sort of talks" as they seemed much focused on "getting quick wins".
But, the official added: "I don't think we're headed toward a period of greater conflict".
Trump has suggested that he would go easier on China if it were more forceful in getting North Korea to rein in its nuclear weapons program.
The second are products that are similar to those China exports in large quantities to the USA, such as steel or petrochemical products, Sun said. -China Economic and Security Review Commission, a bipartisan group created by Congress in 2000 to monitor trade and security issues between the world's two largest economies.