January 24, 2018 / 4:37 PM / in 7 months

U.S. studies possible intellectual property action against China

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - U.S. trade authorities are investigating whether there is a case for taking action over China’s infringements of intellectual property, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Wednesday, calling Beijing’s 2025 technology strategy a “direct threat”.

Flags of U.S. and China are placed for a meeting between Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and China's Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu at the Ministry of Agriculture in Beijing, China June 30, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files

Action on intellectual property would open a new front in global trade battles involving the United States.

Washington on Tuesday slapped steep import tariffs on washing machines and solar panels in moves billed as a way to protect American jobs by President Donald Trump. They sparked condemnations from China and South Korea.

Ross dismissed concerns of a “gigantic” trade war, saying Washington simply wanted a level playing field and was still open to trade talks with the European Union.

Reporting by Mark Bendeich

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