President Trump has gone back to trying to buy Beijing’s cooperation on North Korea. Last week, the administration had planned to announce the opening of an investigation, pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, of China’s intellectual property practices, which are widely seen as increasingly predatory. Section 301 investigations can lead to the imposition of additional tariffs and other trade relief.Read more here.
That plan was shelved. Politico reported that Thursday afternoon the White House decided, at the suggestion of the U.N. and the State Department, to postpone the announcement, which was scheduled for Friday.
There are several reasons to believe that the 301 is not dead, however. First, the Chinese, if they follow past practice, will violate the new sanctions when they think it is safe to do so. In the past, American presidents went to great lengths to ignore Beijing’s sanctions-busting behavior.
Now, giving China a free pass is unlikely. With the Defense Intelligence Agency believing that the North Koreans will be able to nuke the American homeland as early as next year, Chinese noncompliance cannot now be tolerated. So if China were not to enforce the sanctions of Resolution 2371, there would be immense pressure in Washington to begin the Section 301 investigation.
Scott Adams believes America could just use our cyber assets to turn off the lights on those Chinese companies, if China were not honoring the sanctions.