March 13, 2018 / 7:46 PM / 5 days ago

Trump could hit China with tariffs in intellectual property dispute next week: Politico

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer presented President Donald Trump last week with a package of tariffs targeting $30 billion a year in Chinese imports in response to allegations of intellectual property theft, but Trump urged him to consider a higher figure, Politico reported on Tuesday.

Politico, citing unnamed officials, said the tariffs were expected to be rolled out as soon as next week.

FILE PHOTO - U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer stands behind U.S. President Donald Trump as Trump prepares to sign directives to impose tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

It said the Trump administration was considering tariffs on more than 100 Chinese products, as well as possible restrictions on Chinese visas or the tightening of controls on exports of goods or technologies with both military and civilian uses.

“We don’t comment on internal meetings, but no final decisions have been made on content or timing,” a White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters when asked about the report.

The move would come on the heels of Trump’s announcement last week that the United States would levy tariffs on most steel and aluminum imports. Trump also said last week that China had been asked to deliver a plan to reduce its trade imbalance with the United States.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Makini Brice; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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