The US Treasury Department is drafting curbs that would block firms with at least 25 percent Chinese ownership from buying US companies with “industrially significant technology,” a government official briefed on the matter said.
The official, whose comments matched a report by the Wall Street Journal, emphasized that the Chinese ownership threshold may change before the restrictions are announced on Friday.
The move marks another escalation of President Donald Trump‘s trade conflict with China, which threatens to roil financial markets and dent global growth.
Tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, the first of a potential total of $450 billion, are due to take effect on July 6 over US complaints that China is misappropriating US technology through joint venture rules and other policies.
The Treasury investment restrictions are expected to target key sectors, including several China is trying to develop as part of its “Made in China 2025” industrial plan, the US official said.
Among its objectives, the plan aims to upgrade China’s capabilities in advanced information technology, aerospace, marine engineering, pharmaceuticals, advanced energy vehicles, robotics and other high-technology industries.
The Wall Street Journal also said the US Commerce Department and National Security Council were proposing “enhanced” export controls to keep such technologies from being shipped to China.
Spokespersons for the Treasury, Commerce Department and the White House did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment on the proposed restrictions.