White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah defended President Donald Trump's intention to take action against China for unfair trade practices, but said the United States is not looking for a trade war.
His comments came during an interview on the Fox Business Network's "Morning with Maria."
Trump is reportedly seeking tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese imports, including technology and telecommunications products.
"We don't expect and don't want a trade war," Shah said. "The president does want the United States to pursue free, fair and reciprocal trade agreements and that means dealing with countries like China and others around the world that don't rip us off, that don't steal our intellectual property.
"So, on this issue of intellectual property rights, he ordered last year the Commerce Department to initiate an investigation on the matter, under statute 301. That is going to render a report and the president will potentially take action regarding that report."
Shah maintained China had engaged in unfair practices.
"I think the world knows about them," he said. "They steal intellectual property from United States and from other countries around the world and the president may choose to address that in coming weeks.
"The president ran on a philosophy of ensuring that technology investments and progress on that front is American made and American owned. And he wants to ensure that American technology is kept in the United States to the extent that is possible."
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