President Trump’s coming tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum imports are the first step in targeting China’s unfair trade practices, according to a senior White House trade official.

The next phase in the president’s bid to level the international playing field on trade will be punishing Beijing for illicit intellectual property theft and seeking legislation to impose greater reciprocity in trading practices.

“The next action on the president’s plate will be the Section 301 action which is designed, in a laser beam way, to address the issue of forced technology transfer, theft of intellectual property, and China’s bid through the China 2025 architecture plan to capture the emerging industries of the future,” the senior official said.

The administration’s trade team is concerned that if China takes control of industries of the future, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, “America will not have a future, at least economically,” the senior official said in an interview. “So that’s where we’re going next.”

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