Trump to call for China IT trade probe on Monday

After the telephones talks on Saturday, the White House said in a statement that the two leaders discussed the increasingly unsafe situation associated with North Korea's destabilizing and escalatory behavior. The investigation is being ordered under US Trade Act of 1974, which officials said permits the USTR to investigate acts, policies or practices of a foreign country to determine whether they are indeed unreasonable or discriminatory that burden or otherwise restrict US commerce.

"In light of the ongoing standoff between the United States and North Korea, as well as President Trump's reckless words, I ask that you immediately call the House of Representatives back into session to debate legislation prohibiting the USA from conducting a pre-emptive nuclear strike without prior Congressional authorization", he said.

In recent days, Trump and the North Korean regime have engaged in heated rhetoric about the Asian nation's nuclear weapons programme.

Apple, which has a turnover of more than $30 billion a year in China, is now subject to several measures taken by Beijing that hinder its activities in the country. Trump's comments, however, do not appear to be backed by significant military mobilization on either side of the Pacific, and an important, quiet diplomatic channel remains open.

"Trump reiterated to President Macron the United States' commitment to stop the North Korean nuclear menace". Xi urged both sides not to do anything that would aggravate tensions.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer took issue with that assessment.

On Saturday, administration officials said the new trade measure was "totally unrelated" to events involving North Korea.

-China trade ties and of resolving differences "through dialogue and consultation".

Any investigation that may be launched could take as long as a year to conclude, a third official said.

The trade investigation is expected to be only one part of a multi-pronged push by the Trump administration to counter perceived Chinese trade abuses, which Trump frequently railed against as a candidate.

Michael Wessel, a commissioner on the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, called the measure "a critical action, and long overdue".

A 2013 report by a commission co-chaired by Jon Huntsman, ambassador to China under President Barack Obama and Trump's nominee to be Russian envoy, pegged the losses from USA intellectual property theft at hundreds of billions of dollars annually that cost the United States economy millions of jobs. "Those activities haven't abated; they've accelerated as China seeks to become self-sufficient in new technologies and dominate world markets", he said.

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