The Treasury Department plans to raise the scrutiny of Chinese investments in sensitive US industries under an emergency law, which puts Washington's trade war with Beijing on a potentially irreversible course.
According to the plan, the White House would use one of the most significant legal measures available to declare China's investment in US companies involved in technologies such as new energy vehicles, robotics and aerospace constitute a threat to economic and national security , according to eight people familiar with the plans.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in a report scheduled for June 29, will suggest the administration of that law through an inter-governmental governmental panel called the Foreign Investment Committee in the US. . UU., People said, requesting anonymity to discuss the plans.
A Treasury spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Ministry of Commerce of China did not respond immediately to the Bloomberg consultation on the report of planned US investment cuts. UU
A concept under review would be to create a two-track CFIUS process to review investments, with one specifically for China, two of the people said.
"It is now clear that Trump's policy is not about the trade deficit," said Raymond Yeung, China's chief economist for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Hong Kong. "Security risks can be applied to all aspects of a bilateral relationship, investment restrictions in particular."
Shares fell in Asia with the US stock index futures. UU And the yen advanced as investors badessed the outlook for continued trade tensions.
Mnuchin has been working on the plans since early December, although he argued in favor of adopting a less aggressive approach, people said. In the end, other cabinet members and the president persuaded him to use forceful tools to deal with the rising national security risks of Chinese investments, people said.
The head of the Treasury has maintained a low profile in recent weeks. People familiar with Mnuchin's thought said that after losing an internal battle over how to handle the trade dispute with Beijing, he points out his disagreement with the president's approach through silence.
Some government officials are concerned that an "The emergency could hit the stock market or harm US firms operating in China," they said.
The South China Morning Post reported on Sunday that China has no plans to target US companies operating in the country amid rising trade tensions, but additional steps by the White House can change that badessment.
Following Monday's talks in Beijing, Deputy Prime Minister Liu He, President Xi Jinping's chief economic adviser, said China and the European Union had agreed to defend the multilateral trading system. They vowed to oppose protectionism and unilateralism, saying that these actions could push the world towards recession in an apparent reprimand to the United States.
The national emergency law, called the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977, will focus on Prospective investments, that is, existing ones can not be undone, according to four of the people. It is not clear what would happen to the deals that have been announced but have not yet been completed. Treasury officials try to establish a legal definition of "Chinese entities" that will be affected.
The Treasury Department is working on rules to prevent companies with at least 25 percent Chinese ownership from buying companies with "industrially significant technology." The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the plans. The final limit may be lower, and the administration is also working on export controls to prevent US technology from being exported to China, the people said.
Trump's chief commercial advisor, Peter Navarro, has been laying the foundations to scale what is now called a "commercial dispute".
Navarro recently published a 36-page report on "How China's economic aggression threatens the technologies and intellectual property of the United States and the world." The report is seen as part of the evidence that the administration will use to justify the restriction of the investment for economic security reasons.
Much of "China's behavior constitutes economic aggression," Navarro said during a conference call with reporters. "It is fundamental both for the interests of the United States and for the integrity and proper functioning of the global economy that the Chinese stop committing this type of behavior."
The Treasury stock is part of the actions of the Trump Section 301 administration to respond to the alleged theft of US intellectual property. UU And monitoring of rounds of tariff threats for each of the two largest economies.
The IEEPA statute allows the president to unilaterally impose investment limits. Congress, in parallel, is working on legislation to reform the CFIUS, which would badyze the incoming investment in the US. UU For reasons of national security.
People familiar with the administration's plans said that the Treasury's investment limits are considered complementary to CFIUS reform efforts, which are not focused solely on China and do not limit investments for reasons of economic security.
The people informed about the last action said that the Treasury limits will be implemented in phases, which means that not all the sectors Made in China 2025 will be covered at one time.
– With the badistance of Enda Curran, Miao Han and Peter Martin
( Adds market reaction in the seventh paragraph, comments by Liu He in 12th. ]) .