China Answers Trump's Call for Trade Investigation
China says it will “resolutely safeguard“ its economic interests if the United States investigates China’s possible theft of American intellectual property.
Intellectual property includes inventions that are creatively produced, such as designs or technology.
U.S. President Donald Trump signed what is called a presidential memorandum about the issue on Monday. The document directs the Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to investigate whether China has been illegally taking American intellectual property. The investigation will take as long as one year.
On Tuesday, China’s Ministry of Commerce warned the United States that China will not “sit by and watch“ if the United States ignores international trade rules.
Trump wants trade officials to look into the Chinese requirements for American companies to do business in China.
He said the United States will “stand up to any country that unlawfully forces American companies to transfer their valuable technology“ in order to do business there.
Intellectual property owners have the right to sell their inventions to make money and competitors are barred from copying those inventions. However, if that intellectual property is stolen, the owners can lose money because other companies can make illegal versions of their product.
“For too long this wealth has been drained from our country while Washington has done nothing,“ Trump said. “As president of the United States, it is my duty and responsibility to protect the American worker’s technology and industry from unfair and abusive actions.“