The Trump administration is delaying taking trade action against China because it believes Beijing is close to agreeing to United Nations sanctions against North Korea, according to a report Friday night.
The White House had been preparing for a Friday announcement of a new trade investigation against China, Politico reported, but the administration postponed the move at the urging of U.N. and State Department officials who do not want to jeopardize a potential resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea.
A U.S. official told Politico that negotiations with China and Russia, countries usually resistant to punishing North Korea for its ballistic missile tests, are advancing on a new resolution, with the potential for a vote to happen Saturday at the U.N. Security Council.
North Korea conducted two tests last month of intercontinental ballistic missiles, which experts believe could be capable of reaching the U.S.
President Trump still plans to take trade action against China for its alleged violation of American intellectual property rights. Under the plan, the Trump administration would initiate a process for the office of the U.S. trade representative to investigate China's behavior on intellectual property rights.
This is known as a Section 301 investigation, permitted under the 1974 Trade Act.
Following this investigation, the Trump administration could impose tariffs on Chinese imports, rescind licenses, or take other action.