During an afternoon announcement with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, President Trump announced the launch of section 301 trade investigations into China’s business practices for theft of U.S. technology and violations of U.S. intellectual property rights.
Perhaps the most overlooked portion of the remarks from President Trump happened as he sat down to sign the Presidential Memorandum authorizing the official investigation:
…This is only the beginning folks. This is only the beginning…
For approximately 30 years China has been engaged in a unidirectional trade war against the United States of America; facilitated and enabled by both Democrats and Republicans who have been purchased by multinational and corporate lobbyists to block any effort to defend our U.S. interests. The biggest victims have been U.S. middle-class workers.
Today, for the first time in modern U.S. history, a singular President stood up and began what will be an arduous process of fighting back, defending the U.S. economy and balancing the rights of U.S. workers and companies with “fair” and “reciprocal” trade.
Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 provides the United States with the authority to enforce trade agreements, resolve trade disputes, and open foreign markets to U.S. goods and services. It is the principal statutory authority under which the United States may impose trade sanctions on foreign countries that either violate trade agreements or engage in other unfair trade practices. When negotiations to remove the offending trade practice fail, the United States may take action to raise import duties on the foreign country’s products as a means to rebalance lost concessions. (LINK)