BEIJING -- China is opposing a U.S. inquiry into its trade practices by downplaying the enormity of their trade imbalance, while at the same time signaling compromise on imports and metals production in an effort to avoid friction.
U.S. President Donald Trump directed his trade representative last week to examine whether to launch an investigation into alleged intellectual property theft by China under the rarely used Section 301 of a 1974 American trade law. The U.S. formally launched an investigation last Friday. Such a probe carries the possibility of import tariffs and other measures aimed at reducing the U.S. trade deficit with Beijing.
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