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U.S. studies possible intellectual property action against China

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 24 (Reuters) - U.S. trade authorities are investigating whether there is a case for taking action over China's infringements of intellectual property, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Wednesday, calling Beijing's 2025 technology strategy a "direct threat".

Action on intellectual property would open a new front in global trade battles involving the United States.

Washington on Tuesday slapped steep import tariffs on washing machines and solar panels in moves billed as a way to protect American jobs by President Donald Trump. They sparked condemnations from China and South Korea.

Ross dismissed concerns of a "gigantic" trade war, saying Washington simply wanted a level playing field and was still open to trade talks with the European Union. (Reporting by Mark Bendeich)