US names 12 Chinese companies and 22 products for trade blacklist

Image copyright EPA Image caption Nikki Haley defended China’s inclusion on the list US President Donald Trump has directed the US Trade Representative to add 12 Chinese companies and 22 products to the US…

US names 12 Chinese companies and 22 products for trade blacklist

Image copyright EPA Image caption Nikki Haley defended China’s inclusion on the list

US President Donald Trump has directed the US Trade Representative to add 12 Chinese companies and 22 products to the US trade blacklist.

The move was made in response to China’s alleged theft of US intellectual property.

US trade envoy Robert Lighthizer said the list was intended to deter Chinese attempts to acquire US technology and force US companies to hand over proprietary information.

The US says it still hopes to improve relations with China.

The 12 Chinese companies targeted are all found in the technology industry.

“We want to engage with the Chinese,” said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, “but we will not go backwards.”

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Robert Lighthizer praised China’s new intellectual property laws

Mr Lighthizer said he could not predict when a solution to the problem could be found.

The 12 targeted companies are:

Baidu

Ctrip

Computex Technology Group

Huawei Technologies Co.

Linktone Communications

Sinopec Shanghai Petroleum

Strategic X-Tec Investment (THELOS)

ZTE Corp

Zhejiang Huawei Industrial Investment Co.

Zhejiang Zhongding Industry & Trade Co.

Zhongding Investments

Zhejiang Zhongkang Science & Technology

China Mobile Communication

US on the list

There are two US products on the list also: Westport Innovations, a fuel-cell maker and Dynasil, a maker of medical imaging equipment.

On 15 July, Mr Trump signed an executive order that directed Mr Lighthizer to act. On Friday, he instructed the Trade Representative to add two products to the US trade blacklist.

The law that came into effect after Mr Trump’s order said China should have “imposed sanctions” against the Chinese government and some of its state-owned enterprises for stealing US trade secrets.

On Tuesday, President Xi Jinping announced new US-China intellectual property laws and a new World Trade Organisation mechanism to strengthen enforcement of international trade rules.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump expressed his concern that the announcement did not amount to “meaningful action”.

On Wednesday, Mr Lighthizer thanked China for the announcement.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Barack Obama launched a probe into Chinese investment in the US in 2014, but did not send it to the president for consultation

Mr Trump said he expected Beijing would now return to “the fore [sic] at the negotiating table.”

But with the recent announcement about the US plan for trade action, that may be no more than wishful thinking.

What does the US want?

The US wants to make it illegal for China to buy up US companies, which are then forced to hand over proprietary information.

China wants to improve ties with the US, but that means allowing America’s best firms to make money in China.

China’s currency, renminbi, is also a sensitive issue, and Beijing was wary of Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs against China on its goods.

This week, the president announced that tariffs could be imposed on $50bn (£38bn) worth of Chinese goods in November.

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