US Launches Formal Trade Investigation Into China

The United States on Friday formally launched a trade investigation into China’s intellectual property practices and forced transfer of American technology, which President Donald Trump had called for this week.

“On Monday, President Trump instructed me to look into Chinese laws, policies, and practices which may be harming American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

“After consulting with stakeholders and other government agencies, I have determined that these critical issues merit a thorough investigation.”

Foreign companies have long complained about Beijing’s failure to protect know-how and patents, and in some cases forcing firms to share information with domestic partners as the price for doing business in the massive Chinese market.

But they also have been timid about pressing too hard for their governments to take action, for fear of losing access to China.

But “Washington will turn a blind eye

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