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Trump orders review of Chinese trade practices

By Danielle Haynes
1/5
Trump orders review of Chinese trade practices
U.S. President Donald Trump signs a memorandum addressing China's laws, policies, practices and actions related to intellectual property, innovation and technology at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Monday. The memorandum ask the trade office to explore a possible investigation into China for the alleged theft of U.S. technology and intellectual property. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 14 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump on Monday signed a memorandum that could lead to an investigation into whether China is stealing intellectual property from the United States.

The memo directs U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to determine whether to launch an official probe.

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"The theft of intellectual property by foreign countries costs our nation millions of jobs and billions and billions of dollars each and every year," Trump said during a signing ceremony alongside trade advisers and business executives. "For too long, this wealth has been drained from our country while Washington has done nothing ... But Washington will turn a blind eye no longer."

The results of an investigation -- should one occur -- could result in tariffs and trade restrictions with China.

"We will safeguard the copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets and other intellectual property that is so vital to our security and to our prosperity," Trump said. "This is just the beginning."

Trump previously has spoken out against what he believes are lopsided trade agreements with China. But last week, he indicated he could lighten up on his stance on China's trade practices if Beijing helps with the North Korean threat.

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"We lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade with China. They know how I feel. It's not going to continue like that," Trump said. "But if China helps us, I feel a lot differently toward trade -- a lot differently toward trade."

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