22:55 GMT +321 August 2017
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    Trump to Call for Crackdown on China Trade Monday

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    US President Donald Trump may announce a probe into China’s alleged intellectual property theft on Monday after repeatedly accusing Beijing of "unfair" trade practices, US media said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A government official confirmed to Politico that Trump was going to instruct US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to open the investigation under Section 301 of the 1974 US Trade Act.

    Section 301 allows Washington to take unilateral action against a foreign government that is violating an international trade agreement or is somehow damaging US commercial interests.

    The news outlet said trade sanctions on China were not expected immediately after the announcement, but could lead to a hike in tariffs on Chinese goods, a move that is likely to breach World Trade Organization's rules.

    Trump said last month he was "very disappointed in China" over its failure to put pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile tests. According to the US Department of Commerce, the total value of exports from and imports to China amounted respectively to $115.6 and $462.6 billion in 2016.

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