U.S. officials crafting retaliatory actions against China over coronavirus

Senior officials across multiple government agencies are expected to meet on Thursday to begin mapping out a strategy for seeking retaliatory measures against China, two people with knowledge of the meeting said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose the planning. Officials in American intelligence agencies are also involved in the effort.

President Trump has fumed to aides and others in recent days about China, blaming that country for withholding information about the virus, and has discussed enacting dramatic measures that would likely lead to retaliation by Beijing, these people said.

In private, Trump and aides have discussed stripping China of its “sovereign immunity,” aiming to enable the U.S. government or victims to sue China for damages. George Sorial, who formerly served as a top executive at the Trump Organization and is now involved in a class-action lawsuit against China, told The Washington Post he and senior White House officials have discussed limiting China’s sovereign immunity. Legal experts say an attempt to limit China’s sovereign immunity would be extremely difficult to accomplish and may require Congressional legislation.