President Donald Trump on Monday signed a memorandum that could lead to a trade investigation of alleged Chinese theft of intellectual property.
The measure directs U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to look into options to protect U.S. intellectual property. It does not take any specific action against China at this point.
“We will safeguard the copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets and other intellectual property that is so vital to our security and to our prosperity,” Trump said.
He added: “This is just the beginning.”
PG View: This move comes at a critical time. While protecting intellectual propoertty is really important, the U.S. is simultaneously seeking China’s help in deescalating the North Korean situation. This seems unlikely to help that cause. Amid a very real risk of a real war with North Korea, potentially starting a trade war with China seems less than prudent.