In retaliation for China’s harmful, unfair acquisition of U.S. technology, President Trump recently issued stiff new tariffs against the country. These alleged misdeeds by China included counterfeiting popular brands of consumer items, stealing of trade secrets, pressuring businesses to share U.S. technologies with them. These tariffs will have a whopping worth of about $50 billion. The U.S. is certainly not the first country to have complaints about China’s business dealings. So much so that some countries refuse to do any business with them at all.
Although Trump did already promise to impose 25 percent tariff on all steel imports and 10 percent tariff on all aluminum imports, Mexico and Canada did not receive them. However, Trump has indicated this may change in the relatively near future. For obvious reasons, many of the countries and trading partners under the present tariffs are not happy about it one bit. China and the European Union have both talked about strong retaliation for the actions. Some experts fear that Trump has started a global trade war.
Trump has said while he is absolutely okay with a trade war, he doesn’t think one will happen. The reason he thinks a trade war could be good for the U.S. is that he knows we can win. He is not alone; many U.S. businessmen feel the same way. U.S. is charging China with not protecting the intellectual property of foreign products. This includes things like brands, images, business names, logos, designs, artistic and literary works, and inventions. These things are supposed to be protected by trademarks, copyrights, and patents.
These things are supposed to ensure that the originator gets the recognition he or she observes and is thus a tool to encourage the flourishing of innovation and creativity. Until it was stopped, U.S. had this same problem until 1890. Robert Lighthizer has spent seven months investigating China’s rampant intellectual property problem. He is also investigating allegations that China actually supported cyber attacks against U.S. that helped them acquire trade secrets. To the end of such cyber attacks, China is said to be targeting certain American businesses.
In issuing the recent tariffs, Trump was utilizing a 1984 amendment to Section 301 which gives the president power to impose authoritative trade sanctions. The amendment specifically gave him the power to do this on countries that failed to protect intellectual property rights.