The next step in what some say is a brewing trade war between the U.S. and China is the restriction on Chinese nationals buying American technology, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert LIghthizer.
“We hope this leads to further negotiations,” he said during an interview with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Friday. “We hope this leads to China changing its policies, at least with respect to us, and opening up their market.”
On Friday, the Trump administration announced plans to move forward with a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods containing “industrially significant technologies.” Beijing vowed to respond swiftly to the actions, once more escalating trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
“What we’re trying to do here is just get ourselves back to even,” Lighthizer said, adding, “What we want to do, what the president wants to do, is change the paradigm. We’re going to put in restrictions on investments so they don’t have access to our technology.”
President Trump has long pledged to stop China’s theft of U.S. intellectual property, which he said costs the U.S. billions of dollars each year. The president has also been critical of a staggering trade deficit between the two countries, which tops more than $370 billion.
In mid-May, the U.S. and China agreed to take steps to reduce that deficit by having Beijing purchase more American-made goods.
“Our hope is that it ends there,” Lighthizer said. “We can have negotiations, and try to remove some of these structural barriers, while at the same time opening up China.”