US President Donald Trump’s threat to investigate China’s intellectual property and trade practices is valid, but his administration may not be up to the delicate task of carrying out a new China probe without sparking a damaging trade war, US business lobbyists told Reuters on Thursday. The lobbyists’ fears that Trump could mishandle such an inquiry came as he searched for ways to increase pressure on China to do more about reining in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, with trade policy viewed as a useful lever. Lobbyists said Trump was right to criticize China on trade, but they expressed concern about general disorganization and inconsistency at the White House and warned that Trump might make matters worse with China if he follows through. Trump is expected to issue a presidential memorandum declaring Chinese theft of intellectual property a problem that requires a US response.
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