Ivanka Trump abruptly leaves conference call after question about China trademarks

White House slaps 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods

The countries said China would "significantly increase" purchases of United States goods and services to reduce their trade imbalance, a top Trump administration demand.

"We urge the United States to keep its promise", Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Wednesday, in reference to a joint statement released by the two countries after their latest round of negotiations.

"Going forward, a reduction in validity of some newly issued visas is part of the National Security Strategy to ensure that intellectual property is not transferred to our competitors", the official said, referring to a document issued by the Trump administration in December.

President Trump has raised the stakes again in his trade dispute with China by pledging to make good on a threat to impose $50 billion of tariffs on imports within weeks.

It is ironic that one of Trump's most obvious vulnerabilities has nothing to do with China itself, or with the fact that some American companies are vulnerable to Beijing's retaliation in a tit-for-tat trade war.

The moves come after the Chinese government and Trump administration officials agreed to the outline of a trade truce earlier this month.

The White House statement issued on Tuesday pointed to a United States Trade Representatives (USTR) Section 301 investigation that identified four aggressive technology policies pursued by China which it claimed put 44m American jobs at risk. The reduction to $50 billion is a sign of Trump's standard approach to negotiations: ask for way more than you can get and settle for a better deal than most would deem possible.

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"When it comes to worldwide relations, every time a country does an about face and contradicts itself, it's another blow to, and a squandering of, its reputation", Hua said.

The proposed investment restrictions and enhanced export controls will be announced by June 30 and they will be implemented shortly thereafter, it said.

It said technology transfers between USA companies and their Chinese partners were the result of normal business practices, not coercive policies. The statement did not reiterate China's own previous threats to impose $50 billion in retaliatory tariffs on USA goods.

The American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham) said in a report published Wednesday that its member companies are anxious investigations into China's intellectual property practices and industrial policies could cause tensions to flare again.

The White House said the policies included forced technology transfer; requiring licensing at less than economic value; state-directed acquisition of sensitive U.S. technology for strategic purposes; and outright cybertheft.

They added the products included on the list are related to the "Made in China 2025" program, . a 2015 initiative promoting China's information technology, robotics, aerospace, marine, rail, auto, power, agriculture and bio-medical industries. Some, like Mr. Mnuchin, have focused on a potential compromise deal that would require China to buy huge amounts of American products while still forestalling the possibility of a trade war.

Around the same time, her father, the President, endorsed saving Chinese telecommunications company ZTE, a move that surprised several people in his own administration.

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