1 More trade barriers could spring up, following the tariffs imposed by the US on imports of aluminium and steel into the country. The US has launched an investigation under section 301 of the US Trade Act to determine whether it has been treated with unfair trade practices by China. Peter Navarro, special adviser on trade to the US president, says that the US Trade Representative (USTR) is “working to address intellectual property (IP) theft head on”. He also says the trade agency is “working to restructure the trading environment that works not just for Americans, but for the rest of the world”.

The outcome of this investigation could provide the USTR with a wide latitude of penal action. This includes tariff imposition, setting quota limits and placing restrictions on business activity in the US.

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