Internet Bracing for Trade Investigation Results

Online audiences appear to be anticipating a development in the U.S. probe into alleged Chinese IP theft.

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Predata signals that measure online interest in trade protectionism rose after the Trump administration slapped an up to 30 percent tariff on solar panels and up to a 50 percent one on washing machines. In addition, anxiety over the U.S.-China trade regime also appears to be rising. Online observers appear to be anticipating that the administration may soon act on its investigation into alleged Chinese intellectual property theft. Interest has surged in web sources related to “Section 301” — the part of the 1974 U.S. Trade Act that allows the president to take retaliatory action against a foreign government deemed in violation of an international trade agreement.