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U.S. trade probe againt China short-sighted: expert

(People's Daily Online)    16:17, August 16, 2017

(Chinanews.com/Li Jinlei)

A Chinese expert says the U.S. is short-sighted if it is willing to damage bilateral economic and trade relations with China, as U.S. President Donald Trump authorized the U.S. Trade Representative to launch an investigation into China's intellectual property practices, China News reported on Aug. 15.

In the Presidential Memorandum, Trump authorized Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative, to determine whether China's relevant laws, policies, or practices harm U.S. intellectual property rights (IPR), innovation, or technological development.

On the same day, Lighthizer issued a statement saying that he would conduct a thorough investigation and, if needed, take action to preserve the future of U.S. industry.

The investigation is to be launched on the basis of Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which was designed to eliminate unfair foreign trade practices that adversely affect U.S. trade and investment in both goods and services.

China's Ministry of Commerce noted in a statement that Section 301 has been opposed by many countries for its unilateralism, and the U.S. should strictly adhere to commitments and should not become the destroyer of multilateral rules.

The statement said that China will not sit idle but take necessary measures to safeguard China's legitimate rights if the U.S. takes actions that impair trade relations, disregards the facts and disrespects multilateral trade rules.

Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told China News that the U.S. probe reflected the unilateralism of the America First policy, which is short-sighted and would harm bilateral economic and trade relations, as well as the rights of enterprises of both countries.

Bai said the probe would have a negative impact on Chinese companies, but many American businesses would suffer from Chinese retaliation. In addition, any protectionist measures the U.S. takes would take time to implement, giving China plenty of time to offset the actions.

The research fellow suggests China strengthen talks with the U.S. and, if necessary, try to gain support from the WTO to protect its legitimate rights, adding that relevant enterprises should respond to suits if involved in cases.

Meanwhile, experts stress that the U.S. should not overlook the fact that China has improved IP laws, achievements which have been recognized both domestically and internationally.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying also noted that China has been striving to build an innovation-driven society to promote industrial upgrading in recent years.

The spokesperson urged the U.S. to respect China's achievements of indigenous innovation, saying that the number of patent applications in China has accounted for 38 percent of the world's total, topping the world list and 1.9 times the number of the U.S., and China's investment in research and development has occupied 17.6 percent of the global investment by 2016, close to that of America.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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