Trump wants to know if China trade probe is needed

US President Donald Trump speaks during a security briefing, on Aug 10, 2017.
US President Donald Trump speaks during a security briefing, on Aug 10, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

President Donald Trump, who has long accused China of stealing US intellectual property, now wants his trade office to determine if an investigation is necessary.

He will sign an executive memo today to ask the Trade Representative to decide whether to begin an investigation into Chinese practices that force American firms to share their intellectual property in order to do business in China. It is unclear how long this will take.

As the President is seeking China's help on North Korea amid an escalating war of words between Washington and Pyongyang, many see the latest move as a more measured approach by the Trump administration.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2017, with the headline 'Trump wants to know if China trade probe is needed'. Print Edition | Subscribe