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The U.S. and other World Trade Organization members on Friday criticized China for increasing tariffs on semiconductor products, arguing that such practices do not comply with China’s commitments under the WTO’s Information Technology Agreement.

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The Trump administration is heading into a third round of NAFTA negotiations while it pursues a Section 301 investigation into Chinese intellectual property practices and holds talks with South Korea about amending a bilateral free trade agreement -- all without deputies and other senior staff in place within the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Friday that the administration – under pressure from some lawmakers to take action on steel imports – isn't softening its trade stances, but is timing its priorities to avoid moves that might “unnecessarily irritate” the Senate.

President Trump discussed trade issues with China's president on Monday morning and touched on trade relations with Latin American leaders in the evening as he prepared to address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Representatives from the United Steelworkers this week met with lawmakers and Commerce Department officials -- and held a phone call with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross -- to push for action on the stalled Section 232 investigation into the national security implications of steel imports.

Ohio Sens. Sherrod Brown (D) and Rob Portman (R) are urging Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to take action in an ongoing Section 232 investigation “as quickly as possible” to stem what they say is an onslaught of steel imports.