Mar 17, 2017

Trump gets option on Chinese sanctions

Republican Senator Marco Rubio and his Democratic colleague Ben Cardin have introduced a bill that gives the Trump administration the ability to sanction any Chinese individual or entity that participates in what the Senators call "Beijing's illegitimate activities in the South China Sea and East China Sea."

Why this matters: Sanctions give Trump a less risky way to act tough on China. Rubio and Cardin timed the bill to coincide with Rex Tillerson's trip to Asia this week, and the White House was privy to its drafting. It lays down a marker on this sensitive issue before Chinese President Xi Jingping arrives at Mar-a-Lago next month. The threat of these sanctions could buttress the Trump Administration on an issue which they have stumbled on so far.

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