China bans coal, iron, lead, seafood imports from N. Korea

Aug 15, 2017, 00:32
China bans coal, iron, lead, seafood imports from N. Korea

On Thursday, Trump reiterated the suggestion that he could soften his position on trade if Beijing were to do more to help rein in nuclear-armed North Korea.

The first source said authorities began the halt about two weeks ago and the second trader said it was enforced about 20 days ago.

An administration official contended that the possible investigation was unrelated to the showdown with North Korea.

Beijing issued the order on Monday.

Despite Monday's expected action, Trump has so far refrained from making good on threats of retaliatory trade measures against China.

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At the weekend, Trump administration officials previewing the move on condition of anonymity accused China of "stealing" United States industrial secrets, long a concern of major foreign corporations seeking a share of the huge Chinese market. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the order before Trump's formal announcement.

"His idea of exploiting trade as a bargaining chip in dealings with China dates back to the campaign trail", it said in an English-language commentary published on Monday.

Trump has also been critical of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).In April, Trump said he had been ready to pull out, but he was talked out of it.

China, the isolated North's main trading partner, has been reluctant to push leader Kim Jong-un's regime too hard for fear it might collapse.

The United Nations Security Council, including permanent member Beijing, approved tough sanctions against Pyongyang on August 6 that could cost the country Dollars 1 billion a year.

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The ministry said on its website that all imports of coal, iron, iron ore and seafood will be "completely prohibited" from Tuesday.

Trump has escalated his harsh criticism of North Korea for days, tweeting Friday that the US had military options "locked and loaded".

The war of words has sparked global concerns, with world leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping urging calm on both sides in a phone call with Trump over the weekend.

The forced sharing of intellectual property with Chinese firms has been a long-standing concern of the US business community, with reports suggesting that losses stemming from it could total hundreds of billions of dollars annually that cost the USA economy millions of jobs. Last week, the administration delayed the trade move in favor of securing China's support for a United Nations resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea.

The results of an investigation - should one occur - could result in tariffs and trade restrictions with China.

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