Trump Plans Final China Crackdown to Bind Biden, Axios Says

President Donald Trump plans several new hard-line moves against China in the remaining weeks of his term, Axios reported, citing senior administration officials they didn’t identify.

Trump may announce sanctions or trade restrictions against more Chinese companies, government entities or officials, citing human rights violations or threats to U.S. national security, according to the report.

John Ullyot, a spokesman for the National Security Council, told Axios that the actions would be framed in such as way as to be “politically suicidal” to undo, for example by the incoming Joe Biden administration, absent a major policy shift by Beijing.

Biden’s transition team said it had no comment for now on the report. The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tougher moves against China have been expected in the waning weeks of Trump’s administration.

Raymond James Financial Inc. analyst Ed Mills wrote in a note published Friday that the financial services firm is bracing for additional executive orders on hard-line positions, made in ways that may be difficult to reverse.

That assessment followed Trump’s executive order on Thursday barring American investments in Chinese firms owned or controlled by the military.

The order prohibits investment firms and pension funds from buying and selling shares of 20 Chinese companies designated by the Pentagon as having military ties in June, as well as an additional 11 companies added in August, Axios reported. It said administration officials are discussing an expansion of that list.

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