US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer accused China of US Trade Act of 1974 violations, stating:
“1. China uses foreign ownership restrictions, such as joint venture requirements and foreign equity limitations, and various administrative review and licensing processes, to require or pressure technology transfer from US companies.”
“2. China’s regime of technology regulations forces US companies seeking to license technologies to Chinese entities to do so on non-market-based terms that favor
“3. China directs and unfairly facilitates the systematic investment in, and acquisition of,
US companies and assets by Chinese companies to obtain cutting-edge technologies and intellectual property and generate the transfer of technology to Chinese companies.”
“4. China conducts and supports unauthorized intrusions into, and theft from, the computer networks of US companies to access their sensitive commercial information and trade secrets.”
Lighthizer said he’d “publish a proposed list of products and any intended tariff increases within 15 days of the date of this memorandum.”
He proposed 25% tariffs worth about $50 billion in calendar year 2018 on designated Chinese products. A detailed technical list was itemized in the USTR document’s annex.