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The Editors

A New Front in Trump's Trade War

Taking unilateral action against China's "unfair" IP practices would backfire on America.
Whose technology?

Whose technology?

Photograph: STR/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump's approach to trade mainly offends allies for no reason, counters imaginary threats, and undermines deals that benefit the U.S. At the same time, his administration is also addressing a legitimate trade dispute: China's alleged theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfers. True to form, the president appears to favor a response that would make the problem worse.

Bloomberg reports that the White House is considering imposing tariffs on a broad range of consumer goods to punish China for its IP practices. The measures follow an investigation launched by the U.S. Trade Representative under Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974, which allows for the unilateral imposition of duties in retaliation for unfair trade practices.