The White House has postponed a scheduled event to announce trade action against China today, sources told Politico.
During the event Trump was expected to direct his trade chief to open an investigation into Chinese violations of US intellectual property rights and forced technology transfer.
Why the cold feet? As the New York Times reports this week, China has a pretty good defense for any move Washington makes.
“The problem is that US trade negotiators agreed to provisions allowing China to limit market access for US companies unless they engaged in joint ventures,” Michael R Wessel, a member of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, was quoted as saying.
“US negotiators, I think, basically dropped the ball,” said Nicholas R. Lardy, a longtime trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, referring to the rules on services that were negotiated when China entered the WTO “They didn’t think China was very important.”