Trump to launch investigation into China's trade practice

US activist Gloria Steinem, and Nobel Peace Prize laureates Leymah Gbowee, from Liberia with other activists march to the Imjingak Pavilion along the military wire fences near the border village of Panmunjom

China has appointed a new special envoy for the North Korean issue, Assistant Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou, its foreign ministry said on Monday (Aug 14), after regional media had reported on the appointment.

Reuters cited US senior administration officials as saying on Saturday that President Trump will order his top trade adviser on Monday to determine whether to investigate Chinese trade practices that force USA firms operating in China to turn over intellectual property.

The administration official who confirmed that Trump would sign the order contended it was unrelated to the showdown with North Korea.

The war of words has sparked global concerns, with world leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping urging calm on both sides in a phone call with Trump over the weekend.

Trump is expected to return to Washington from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. on Monday to sign the memo.

The UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution on August 6 banning North Korea's exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood, in a bid to choke off a third of Pyongyang's US$3 billion (RM12.8 billion) annual export revenue. "China's forced technology transfer is highly institutionalised", the official said.

The forced sharing of intellectual property with Chinese firms has been a long-standing concern of the USA business community, with reports suggesting that losses stemming from it could total hundreds of billions of dollars annually that cost the US economy millions of jobs.

China, which is suspected of failing to enforce past United Nations measures, accounts for 90 per cent of North Korea's trade.

Beijing fired a pre-emptive strike on Monday, warning "everybody will lose" in the event of a trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Many experts have voiced concerns over the US government's plan to invoke Section 301, a trade tool frequently used by Washington before the World Trade Organization (WTO) came into existence.

In an editorial, the official China Daily said it was critical the Trump administration doesn't make a rash decision it will regret.

If the United States were to engage in such an act, Parker thinks China or Russian Federation would introduce a U.N. Security Council resolution to restrain the US.

"The customs officer said traders and importers have to pay more attention to the risks", the trader said after the meeting. Many U.S. businesses must create joint ventures with Chinese companies and turn over valuable technology assets, a practice that Washington says stifles U.S. economic growth.

Democrats recently have supported Trump on some trade issues.

Trump previously has spoken out against what he believes are lopsided trade agreements with China.

United States and European companies have long complained of Chinese rules that force them to turn over their industrial secrets if they wish to do business in China.

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