(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
President Donald Trump on Monday will order his top trade adviser to determine whether to investigate Chinese trade practices that force US firms operating in China to turn over intellectual property, senior administration officials said on Saturday.
The move, which could eventually lead to steep tariffs on Chinese goods, comes at a time when Trump has asked China to do more to crack down on North Korea's nuclear missile program as he threatens possible military action against Pyongyang.
Trump has said he would be more amenable to going easy on Beijing if it were more aggressive in reining in North Korea.
An administration official, however, insisted diplomacy over North Korea and the potential trade probe were "totally unrelated," saying the trade action was not a pressure tactic.