On August 14, 2017, President Trump signed Presidential Memorandum of August 14, 2017 for the United States Trade Representative Addressing China’s Laws, Policies, Practices, and Actions Related to Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Technology (published in the Federal Register on August 17, 2017). The Memorandum directs the U.S. Trade Representative to determine whether to conduct an investigation consistent with section 302(b) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2412(b)), of China’s laws, policies, practices, or actions that may be unreasonable or discriminatory and that may be harming American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development.

The Memorandum states in part that:

Violations of intellectual property rights and other unfair technology transfers potentially threaten United States firms by undermining their ability to compete fairly in the global market. China has implemented laws, policies, and practices and has taken actions related to intellectual property, innovation, and technology that may encourage or require the transfer of American technology and intellectual property to enterprises in China or that may otherwise negatively affect American economic interests. These laws, policies, practices, and actions may inhibit United States exports, deprive United States citizens of fair remuneration for their innovations, divert American jobs to workers in China, contribute to our trade deficit with China, and otherwise undermine American manufacturing, services, and innovation.