Skeptics dismiss Bannon's call for economic war with China

Top trump strategist Steve Bannon and former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus

"And we have to be maniacally focused on that". But no one in a position of power has adopted a strategy that entails the nearly messianic zeal of Bannon's world view. Last year, for instance, America's trade gap in goods with China was $347 billion.

According to the article, Bannon's line of attack includes: a complaint under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act against so-called Chinese forced technology transfers, and follow-up complaints against steel and aluminum dumping.

The Chinese government reportedly directs and/or unfairly facilitates the systematic investment in, and/or acquisition of, U.S. companies and assets by Chinese companies to obtain cutting-edge technologies and intellectual property and generate large-scale technology transfer in industries deemed important by Chinese government industrial plans, it said. The Trump administration has already collected much of the information it needs to conclude that trade sanctions are appropriate to respond to China's attempts to steal the intellectual property of USA companies.

"The economic war with China is everything", Mr Bannon said. On Monday, Trump announced the U.S.is investigating China for allegedly stealing American technology and intellectual property.

The former leader of conservative Breitbart News, Mr Bannon has drawn fire from some of Mr Trump's closest advisers, including son-in-law Jared Kushner.

In the interview, Bannon also vowed to battle so-called trade doves inside the Trump administration. Trump's announcement drew an angry reaction from Beijing, which also pushed back on Bannon's remarks.

Asked about Mr Bannon's comments, Ms Hua said at a regular new briefing: "There is no victor in a trade war".

On Tuesday, China's commerce ministry warned: "If the U.S. side takes actions that impair the mutual trade relations, disregarding the facts and disrespecting multilateral trade rules, China will not sit idle".

For years, China manipulated its currency to give its exporters an advantage over foreign competition.

Moreover, many United States companies report facing vague and unwritten rules, as well as local rules that diverge from national ones, which are applied in a selective and non- transparent manner by the Chinese government officials to pressure technology transfer, it said.

Bannon's comments suggest potentially harsher measures.

"We will engage in a thorough investigation and, if needed, take action to preserve the future of USA industry", Lighthizer said in a statement.

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