By Tyler Durden
In news that broke (conveniently, we should add) shortly after the market closed on Monday, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the White House is gearing up for what would be the third front in its nascent trade spat with China.
As the paper points out, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is preparing a fresh trade complaint – again under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 – the same section of the trade act under which the US filed its complaint about China’s intellectual property abuses, aka the first salvo in the US’s trade war.
This time, Lighthizer is aiming at China’s unfair restrictions on US companies trying to establish a foothold in China in high-tech industries like cloud computing. As a general rule, China requires foreign firms to partner with a domestic firm in a “revenue-sharing agreement” before they can gain entry to the Chinese market. By comparison, the US allows Chinese firms like Alibaba to function almost totally unfettered.
To be sure, Lighthizer has yet to decide whether to go ahead with the complaint, leaving the tariffs on steel and aluminum and the investigation into IP abuses as the only concrete actions that the White House has …read more