Washington — US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday denounced media reports detailing plans to impose restrictions on Chinese investment in US companies and on tech exports to China. The reports were widely cited Monday as helping to spark a global stock sell-off, with investors increasingly gloomy about the prospects of de-escalation in the emerging US-China trade war. The White House in late May announced plans to impose steep tariffs on Chinese goods, and follow up by June 30 with "specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese persons and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology". The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News cited several sources saying the heightened US scrutiny of Chinese investment would fall under emergency national security powers. The law in question, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, allows the president to regulate trade in response to foreign threats and has frequently bee...

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