1 VOLKSWAGEN TO SPEND $50 BILLION ON ELECTRIC CAR 'OFFENSIVE' WWW.CNN.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/19      2 HABITABILITY OF MONGOLIA UNDER THREAT FROM CLIMATE CHANGE WWW.ADELAIDENOW.COM.AU PUBLISHED:2018/11/19      3 THE SURPRISE FUEL FLOWS SPARKED BY A RAGING U.S.-CHINA TRADE WAR WWW.BLOOMBERG.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/19      4 MONGOLIA’S COAL EXPORTS IN FIRST 10 MONTHS UP 10PC WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/19      5 ABOUT 100 THOUSAND PASSENGERS PASSED THROUGH MONGOLIA-XINJIANG BORDER WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2018/11/19      6 CHINA'S ‘ONE BELT, ONE ROAD’ GLOBAL INVESTMENT PLAN MAPPED OUT WWW.RT.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/19      7 ASIA SUMMIT ENDS IN HISTORIC FAILURE WWW.CNN.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/19      8 INAUGURATION OF SHERAB KYETSEL LING INSTITUTE WWW.DALAILAMA.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/19      9 US-MONGOLIA 'THIRD NEIGHBOR TRADE ACT' ON THE WAY WWW.THEDIPLOMAT.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      10 CHINA'S FIGHT AGAINST SMOG MAKES PALLADIUM 2018'S BEST METAL WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2018/11/17      БНХАУ-ЫН ОЛОН УЛСЫН ИМПОРТЫН ҮЗЭСГЭЛЭН БНХАУ-ОХУ-ЫН БИЗНЕСИЙН ХАРИЛЦААГ ӨРГӨЖҮҮЛЛЭЭ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/19     АМЧАМ МОНГОЛ 2018 ОНЫ ЖИЛИЙН ТАЙЛАНГИЙН ХУРЛАА АМЖИЛТТАЙ ЗОХИОН БАЙГУУЛЛАА WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/19     ЗЭСИЙН ЗАХ ЗЭЭЛД ЦОЙЛУУЛАХ ХАРМАГТАЙ WWW.DNN.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/19     ГАШУУНСУХАЙТ АВТО ЗАМ ХХК: БЯМБА ГАРАГТ ГАШУУНСУХАЙТ-ГАНЦМОД БООМТООР НҮҮРС ТЭЭВРИЙН 99 АВТОМАШИН НЭВТЭРСЭН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/19     НЭГ АЖИЛТАНД НОГДОХ ДНБ III УЛИРЛЫН БАЙДЛААР 3.7 САЯ ТӨГРӨГ БОЛЖ ӨСЖЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/19     ХЯТАДЫН ХЯЗГААРЛАЛТ $300-450 САЯЫГ ГАЦААНА WWW.ZGM.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/19     АЗЕРБАЙЖАН УЛС МАНАЙД ДАРС НИЙЛҮҮЛЭХЭЭР БОЛЛОО WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/19     ШУУДАН, ХАРИЛЦАА ХОЛБООНЫ САЛБАРЫН ОРЛОГО ОНЫ ЭХНИЙ 9 САРД 21.4 ХУВИАР ӨСӨВ WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/19     БНСУ-ЫН АЖ АХУЙН НЭГЖҮҮДИЙН АУТСОРСИНГ ЗАХИАЛГЫГ ГҮЙЦЭТГЭХ ЗАЛУУЧУУДЫГ СОНГОН, ШАЛГАРУУЛНА WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17     НҮҮРСНИЙ ЭКСПОРТ 10 ХУВИАР ӨСӨЖ, 31.3 САЯ ТОНН БОЛОВ WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2018/11/17    

Events

Name organizer Where
Frontier's "Invest Mongolia Tokyo 2018" Frontier Securities Tokyo Japan
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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Mongolia-South Korea intergovernmental commission convening www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Intergovernmental Commission between Mongolia and South Korea is holding its third meeting at the State House today.

At the meeting, the parties will finalize spending and purpose of USD 500 million soft loan to be granted from Korea. Specifically, during his visit to South Korea in January, Prime Minister U.Khurelsukh signed an agreement on Issuance of Soft Loan from Economic Development Cooperation Fund in 2017-2019. Within the framework of the agreement, Mongolian Government will receive a soft loan of KRW, equaling USD 700 million that will have an annual interest of 0.2 percent and 30 years of repayment term with 10 year moratorium period.

A working group from Korea has made projects' study in March in Mongolia and the sides will finalize it at today’s meeting. The meeting is being attended by 13 delegates from the both countries and Foreign Affairs Minister D.Tsogtbaatar and Environment and Tourism Minister N.Tserenbat are among them. 
B.Batchimeg

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The battle for China’s growing gas demand www.rt.com

Russia, in its efforts to develop its gas sector in as many geographical locations as possible, is also earmarking increased gas exports to China.
Russian natural gas giant Gazprom said that gas from its Siberia fields could start moving through pipelines to China within the next five years. The disclosure came as Gazprom representatives discussed the development of the Kovyktinskoye field with officials from the Irkutsk region in southeastern Siberia. The talks took place in Moscow on Tuesday.

Gazprom is shaping a major gas production center in the Kovyktinskoye field, which is unique in terms of its gas reserves (2.7 trillion cubic meters), Gazprom said. The energy giant is also preparing Kovyktinskoye to move from pilot development to commercial production.

In 2017, two exploratory wells were drilled and 3D seismic surveys covering 2,400 square kilometers were performed. Efforts are being made to design the site structures and facilities for production purposes, as well as having gas transmission capacities, Gazprom said in a statement. It is planned to start feeding gas from Kovyktinskoye into the Power of Siberia gas pipeline in late 2022, with a section of the pipeline to be laid in the Irkutsk Region.

Gazprom already has in place a 30-year sales agreement with state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) that calls for 1.3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas per year through the pipeline.

CNPC, with a market cap of $229 billion, is the world’s third largest oil company and China’s largest oil and gas producer and supplier.

Nearing completion

On Wednesday, Gazprom said that the Power of Siberia pipeline had reached a 75.5 percent completion rate, which it called the most ambitions gas project in the global gas industry. Gas shipments from the project to CNPC are scheduled to start on December 20, 2019.

The disclosure also comes as China’s natural gas demand is increasing amid a government mandate requiring at least 10 percent of the country’s energy mix used for power generation to be derived from gas. Further mandates are set for the year 2030 and beyond. China has been trying to offset stagnant air pollution in its major urban centers by replacing coal needed for power generation with gas as well as for industrial and manufacturing end-users.

This increased gas demand caught global LNG markets by surprise this past winter, resulting in gas supply shortages for both residential and industrial consumers, particularly in Northern China.

China’s winter gas usage spike sent spot LNG prices in the Asia Pacific to three-year highs, breaking the $11/MMBtu mark, before trending downward again as cold weather subsided in Northern Asia.

China’s LNG imports hit record levels in January, totaling 5.18 million tons, compared with the previous record of 5.03 million tons set in December, up 51.2 percent from January 2017, according to data from China’s General Administration of Customs. China is the fastest growing LNG market in the world. Late last year, it passed South Korea to become the world’s second largest LNG importer after Japan.

China’s increased LNG usage could potentially help global LNG markets reach supply and demand equilibrium earlier than the often-forecasted date of 2022 or even later. Other variables in the equation include increased Qatari output, which will see the country raise its liquefaction capacity from 77 mtpa to over 100 mtpa within the next five years, as well as a so-called second wave of LNG project development in the US that will start to come on-line after the start of the next decade. Australia, for its part, will soon have as many as ten major LNG export projects operational.

In an effort to go long on gas and not get caught flat footed again during another cold winter, CNPC also plans to build eight gas storage facilities with a total capacity of 21 billion cubic meters (bcm), China’s state run news agency Xinhua said.

The gas storage facilities, located in southwest China's Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality, will cost more than 21 billion yuan ($3.3 billion dollars), said Ma Xinhua, general manager of PetrolChina Southwest Oil and Gasfield Company, a CNPC affiliate.

More LNG deals needed

China is also keen to lock in more LNG supply deals, with numerous producers, including American producers. Last month, US-based LNG exporter Cheniere Energy announced that it had signed two long term LNG supply and purchase (SPA) agreements with CNPC. Under the SPAs, CNPC subsidiary PetroChina International Company Ltd. will purchase approximately 1.2 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG from Cheniere’s Corpus Christi export terminal under construction in Texas. Cheniere said that the deal will help it move closer to expanding the site.

A portion of the supply will begin this year with the balance beginning in 2023, Cheniere said. The term of each SPA continues through 2043. The purchase price for LNG will be indexed to the Henry Hub price plus a fixed component.

The long-term SPAs follow a MoU reached in November between Cheniere and CNPC during President Trump’s trade visit to Beijing. “We expect these agreements to support the development of Corpus Christi Train 3, and we are now focused on completing the remaining necessary steps to reach a final investment decision later this year,” said Jack Fusco, Cheniere’s President and CEO.

The SPAs mark the first-ever long-term deal between an American LNG exporter and a Chinese state-owned energy company. Cheniere was the first American company in the Lower 48 to export LNG and has already sold several LNG cargoes to Chinese companies on a spot basis.

Reuters, citing analysts, said that the deal should move Cheniere to the top of the pack of companies competing to build the next generation of US LNG terminals to meet possible supply shortages in the early 2020s.

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China launches crude oil futures trading www.chinadaily.com.cn

SHANGHAI - China on Monday launched trading of the yuan-denominated crude oil futures contracts at the Shanghai International Energy Exchange, which is the first futures listed on China's mainland to overseas investors.

The listed futures for trading are contracts to be delivered from September this year to March 2019. The benchmark prices of 15 contracts were set at 416 yuan ($65.8), 388 yuan and 375 yuan per barrel, varied by delivery dates.

Li Qiang, Shanghai's Party chief, and Liu Shiyu, chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission, together rang the gong to open the trading session.

The opening price of the SC1809 contract started at 440 yuan per barrel.

Twenty minutes after the opening, 14,000 transactions were changed hands.

Trading margins for the futures are set at 7 percent of the contract value. The upward and downward trading limits are at 5 percent, with the trading limits on the first trading day set at 10 percent of the benchmark prices.

Overseas investors can invest in the future contracts through various measures. At the beginning, US dollars can be used as deposit and for settlement. In the future, more currencies will be used as deposit.

"China is the world's largest importer of crude oil and the introduction of RMB-denominated crude oil futures contract represents a milestone for China's Futures Market," said David Martin, Asia Pacific head of Global Clearing at JP Morgan.

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D.Mandakh: Number of foreign investors in Mongolia is increasing www.news.mn

This time we have interviewed Officer of Visa and Permit Department at Mongolian Immigration Agency, Mandakh.D, in order to inform foreign investors in Mongolia and foreign nationals who are willing to invest.

-Who is considered as the foreign investor in Mongolia?

-According to the Law of Mongolia on the Legal Status of Foreign Nationals, a foreign investor is defined as Mongolian citizen living abroad, a foreign national and a stateless person, who is investing in Mongolia. Also, the Investment Law of Mongolia clearly specifies the investor's definition and its rights and responsibilities.

-What kind of visa is issued for foreign investors in conformity with which regulation?

-There are 11 classifications of visas which apply to foreign nationals depending on the purpose of entry to the Mongolian border. For example business, investment, study, tourism, private purpose and so on.

The foreign investors shall enter Mongolia with 'T' visa. A foreign investor and senior management staff to work in a joint venture, branch or its representative office of foreign-invested entity may apply for “T” classification visa. The visa issuance is resolved in accordance with “The regulation on the issuance of Mongolian visa” ratified by the 338th government resolution and “The regulation on a residence of foreign nationals to Mongolia and its registration”, the government resolution numbered 340.

-What are the requirements of your agency to foreign investors? What should the foreign investors concern when applying for an investment visa and residence permit?

Generally, any country requires basic requirement which comprises of the creation of employment, a reality of investment, and a status of tax payments. Under the framework of this standard, our agency’s core requirement from the investors is focused on the actual investment, a creation of new jobs and tax payment history of foreign investors. All those relations are regulated by the government resolutions namely “The regulation on the issuance of Mongolian visa” and “The regulation on a residence of foreign nationals to Mongolia and its registration”.

When the foreign investor applies for investor’s visa and residence permit in Mongolia, it is essential to consider its documents completeness at an initial stage. Any permit or document issued by an authorized organization shall be revised whether the applicant has edited, forged or counterfeited it. You can find the list of documents to comprise which is available at our agency’s official website www.immigration.gov.mn and may contact a call center 1800-1882.

-The government of Mongolia has announced its commitment to attracting foreign investment. Is there any visa facilitation for foreign investors in this regard?

-The foreign investor receives longer residence permit rather than other types of visa applicants. The following things should be concerned to issue or extend residence permit for up to 3 years in compliance with the amendments of 2016 in the Law of Mongolia on Legal Status of Foreign Nationals. Herein: the permit from an authorized institution, an operation of the entity, status of tax payment and letting agreement as well as number of new employment they avail.

Our organization has introduced 'Appointment service” dedicated to foreign investors since 2017, which applies to international standard. By doing so, we have eased the public service which saves the time and energy of foreign nationals. So far, the world has been using technological advances and high speed of internet everywhere.

-Foreign investment has dropped in recent years, though it seems to revive. Could you mention the latest statistics and information?

-The number of foreign investors with a residence permit for the year of 2016 to 2017 has increased. For example, a foreign investor with residence permit is 967 in 2016 whereas 1121 in 2017. The number of residence permit extension is 2178 in 2016 and 2565 in 2017, which means it has increased respectively.

-Do you have any additional notice about the rights and obligations of foreign investors?

-I would like to notify few things related to a request for a residence permit. A foreign investor who requests to get residence permit of Mongolia shall enter with “T” classification visa of an investor and must be registered within 7 working days and apply for the residence permit within 21 calendar days to the Mongolia Immigration Agency right afterward the entry to the Mongolian border. The foreign investor must arrive at Mongolia Immigration Agency by himself/herself or may send his/her accredited delegate with necessary documents to extend the residence permit.

When extending the residence permit, the foreign investor’ status of tax payment and a regularity of action shall be revised, moreover, the entity’s functioning office and implementation of foreign investment in the country shall be reviewed in essential cases by officials of the Mongolia Immigration Agency.

Please consider if the entity is deemed to have no certain function or avoided to pay tax or forged some document shall be the subject to cancel the foreign investor’s residence permit.

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Parliament to examine implementation of Oyu Tolgoi agreement www.news.mn

A parliamentary working group has been established for examining the implementation of the Oyu Tolgoi investment agreement by decree of Parliament Speaker M.Enkhbold. The working group will present their conclusions to parliament.

D.Damba-Ochir, chairman of the Standing Committee on Economy is leading the working group and D.Terbishdagva has been appointed as a deputy chief.

The Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement was signed in 2009, has an initial 30-year term with a 20-year extension.

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ADB Loan to Help Improve Air Quality, Living Conditions in Ulaanbaatar www.gogo.mn

The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $130 million policy-based loan to help improve public health and enhance the quality of life in Ulaanbaatar by improving the air quality in the increasingly polluted Mongolian capital.

“The dangerous high level of air pollution in Ulaanbaatar is largely caused by inadequate planning and insufficient infrastructure investment, and compounded by a fragmented regulatory framework” said Maria Pia Ancora, Climate Change Specialist at ADB’s East Asia Department. “ADB’s assistance plays a very important catalytic role in promoting key policy reforms to address this issue, and to provide residents a much cleaner living environment.”

In wintertime, Ulaanbaatar experiences some of the highest levels of pollution in the world, brought about by a heavy reliance on raw coal burning for heating purposes given that it is also the world’s coldest capital, with temperatures regularly dropping below -20 degrees Celsius from October to March. Reliance on coal-fired stoves for individual gers (tents) and inefficient heat-only boilers for buildings contributes to an estimated 80% of particulate matter in the air. The resulting air pollution is posing severe health risks to people, especially children, in the Mongolian capital, while also burdening the country’s already sluggish economic growth.

The ADB assistance will focus on three key reform areas, including strengthening the air pollution regulatory framework for reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from various sectors of the economy, for instance, from transport and household heating. It also guides the government on future expenditures to prioritize efforts for air pollution reduction and human health protection, particularly in introducing less polluting heating fuels, while creating a longer-term framework for better planning and incentives for cleaner fuels and greener development in Ulaanbaatar.

The policy-based loan, which will be sourced by ADB’s ordinary capital resources, will be disbursed in two tranches. The first tranche, worth $100 million, will be withdrawn upon loan effectiveness, while the second tranche for the remaining $30 million will be withdrawn once the second tranche policy actions are achieved.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.

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Shenhua profit rises to 5-year high as China curbs boost coal www.mining.com

China Shenhua Energy Co., the country’s biggest coal miner, said profit jumped to the highest level since 2012 as robust demand and government efforts to rein in overcapacity helped bolster prices.

Net income climbed to 47.8 billion yuan ($7.6 billion) from 24.9 billion yuan a year ago, the Beijing-based miner said in a statement Friday to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Revenue rose 35.8 per cent to 248.7 billion yuan. The company, which also runs power stations and railroads, had flagged the profit jump in January.

Coal prices were supercharged last year as China pressed on with efforts to cut overcapacity by shuttering some mines and restricting imports, aiding major producers including Shenhua, Yanzhou Coal Mining Co. and China Coal Energy Co. Demand was also underpinned by robust economic growth. Still, there’s concern the good times will end as prices have eased in recent months and analysts are warning of further declines as mines ramp up output.

Spot coal at the Chinese port of Qinhuangdao averaged 36 per cent higher last year and hit 751 yuan in January, the most since 2012, according to China Coal Resource. Prices, which have since eased to 636 yuan as of March 19, may decline about 5 per cent this year, Shanxi-based Fenwei Energy estimates.

Coal Targets

Shenhua targets output this year of 290 million tons after posting a 1.9 per cent rise to 295.4 million for 2017. Coal sales will also slide to 430 million tons, from almost 444 million tons. As the country brings on new “advanced” capacity mines this year, the nation’s overall coal output will likely increase while imports will remain steady, the company said.

Shenhua proposed a final dividend of 0.91 yuan per share for 2017, a far cry from the large special dividend the previous year that sent its shares jumping.

Separately, Yanzhou said Friday that net income jumped more than fourfold to 7.36 billion yuan. Revenue gained almost 48 percent to 151.2 billion yuan, the Shandong-based miner said in a statement.

The company’s coal sales last year rose 29 per cent to 96.8 million tons after new mines in Inner Mongolia started operation and the acquisition of Coal & Allied Industries Ltd. in Australia was completed in September, it said. Net income was also helped by its subsidiary, Yancoal Australia Ltd., swinging to a record profit from a loss the previous year, the company said.

Yanzhou also reported impairments of more than 2.2 billion yuan, including bad debts and depreciation of inventory. A company statement showed the bulk of the writedowns came from almost 1.5 billion yuan in assets held by Inner Mongolia Xintai Coal Mining Co., without providing further details.

China Coal, the country’s largest listed miner after Shenhua, reported net income doubled to 3.49 billion yuan last year. While the producer said China may face coal shortages from time to time, it warned the nation’s consumption will slow.

— With assistance by Jing Yang.

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Amended draft laws handed over to the Bank of Mongolia www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The amendments to Law on Central bank, Banking law and Bank Deposit Insurance approved at the 2017-0218 Parliament autumn session were handed over to the Central bank of Mongolia on March 22.

Parliament Speaker M.Enkhbold handed over the originals of the laws to the President of the Bank of Mongolia N.Bayartsaikhan.

President of the Bank of Mongolia N.Bayartsaikhan emphasized that the Bank of Mongolia initiated the mid-term Legal Reform Program on banking and financial sector to be implemented from 2016 to strengthen Mongolia's financial stability, address the economic difficulties and create a legal environment to support economic growth and announced 2018 as a year of banking and financial reform, implementing specific policy goals. He also expressed his gratitude to the people who participated in submitting the draft laws to the Parliament and supported Bank of Mongolia’s initiative to create a sound governance, optimal policy and regulations and favorable legal environment in the banking sector.

Under the mid-term legal reform program on financial sector, one new law and three amendments to relevant laws out of ten draft laws initiated by the Bank of Mongolia were approved.
B.Misheel

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PM sends a message to investment forum participants www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar/MONTSAME/ On March 22, Prime Minister sent a message to participants of the investment forum ‘Mongolian Minerals and Mining 2018’, being held on March 22-23 in Ulaanbaatar. The message was read by L.Altangerel, advisor to the Prime Minister.

It says, “Mining sector is one of leading sectors, playing a vital role to Mongolia’s socio-economic development. It is so pleasant to note significant contributions of cities and settlements that were established relied on Erdenet, Sharyn Gol, Khutul, Bor Undur and Baganuur mines and mining industries to the regional development. Our rigorous efforts, active participation and right attitude are very important to tackle challenges, continue the sector’s development intensively, satisfy sustainable economic growth, produce value-added products, increase competitiveness and export income and attract investment.”

In the message, the PM also said, “The government will take persistent actions to implement policies and purposes on mining sector reflected in ‘Sustainable Development Vision-2030’, ‘State Policy on minerals sector’ and ‘Action Plan of Government 2016-2020’. I am confident that you will be realistic on tendency of mining sector development and challenges in the sector and work actively, understanding and feeling the national and global market needs and the tendency of economic development.”

M.Unurzul

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Trump signs tariffs memorandum against China despite strong warnings www.xinhuanet.com

WASHINGTON, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Despite strong warnings from business groups and trade experts, U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed a memorandum that could impose tariffs on up to 60 billion U.S. dollars of imports from China, the latest unilateral move that poses a threat to global trade.

Trump has directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to publish a list of proposed Chinese goods that could be subject to tariffs in 15 days, while the U.S. Treasury Department will have 60 days to propose restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States, according to the presidential memorandum.

The tariffs "could be about 60 billion" dollars, Trump said Thursday at the White House before signing the memorandum. But a senior White House official told reporters earlier in the day that the number would be close to 50 billion dollars.

The memorandum is based on a so-called Section 301 investigation into alleged Chinese intellectual property and technology transfer practices, launched by the Trump administration in August 2017.

China will "take all necessary measures" to defend its rights and interests, an official with the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday, responding to media reports that Washington will soon release results of the investigation.

"China has made clear its position several times that it stands firmly against such unilateral and trade protectionist practices from the U.S. side," the official said.

Section 301, once heavily used in the 1980s and the early 1990s, allows the U.S. president to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions on foreign countries. But the United States has rarely used the outdated trade tool since the World Trade Organization (WTO) came into being in 1995.

"It became no longer necessary really for the United States that they have to use that law, because now we have an effective dispute settlement system under the WTO," said Chad Bown, a trade expert and senior fellow at the Washington D.C.-based Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE).

The memorandum follows Trump's recent tariff plan on steel and aluminum imports and January's tariffs levied on imported solar panels and washing machines. These unilateral moves have prompted strong opposition and warnings from business groups around the world.

In a letter to Trump on Sunday, 45 U.S. trade associations, representing retail, technology, agriculture and other consumer-product industries, urged the administration not to move forward its tariff plan on Chinese imports, as it would hurt U.S. consumers and companies.

A group of 25 major U.S. retail companies, including Walmart, Costco and Best Buy, also warned on Monday that any additional broad-based tariff would worsen U.S. inequity and "punish American working families" with higher prices on household basics like clothing, shoes and electronics.

If the Trump administration imposes a 25-percent tariff on information and communications technology imports from China, it would cost the U.S. economy 332 billion dollars over the next 10 years, according to a report recently released by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a U.S. technology policy think tank.

"Simply put, tariffs are damaging taxes on American consumers," said Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of U.S. Chamber of Commerce, warning the Trump administration's tariff plan could lead to "a destructive trade war" with serious consequences for U.S. economic growth and job creation.

"Tariffs of $30 billion a year would wipe out over a third of the savings American families received from the doubling of the standard deduction in tax reform. If the tariffs reach $60 billion, which has been rumored, the impact would be even more devastating," Donohue said.

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