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U.S. Takes Aim at China in WTO, Escalating Stakes of Trade War

  • Washington seeking review of intellectual property violations
  • WTO dispute settlement body will consider the request Oct. 29
Onboard CMA CGM SA's Benjamin Franklin Container Ship

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

The U.S. asked the World Trade Organization to investigate possible violations related to China’s intellectual property policies, a point of contention for President Donald Trump that’s served to justify his ongoing trade war.

The move escalates the conflict between the world’s two largest economies and sets the stage for the Geneva-based trade organization, which itself has been a target of Trump’s ire, to decide if China’s policies are illegal. The U.S. has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese products and has threatened duties that would more than cover all imports.