An op-ed in state-owned newspaper the Global Times said Friday that China should make it clear it will "stay neutral" if the North launches missiles that threaten American soil, even if the US retaliates.
Trump wants government officials to look at Chinese practices that force American companies to share their intellectual property in order to gain access to the world's second largest economy.
He said: "This is like Donald Trump looking in a mirror one morning and seeing Kim Jong-un".
Trump informed Chinese President Xi Jinping Friday night of the upcoming memorandum, a senior administration official told CNN Friday. While Trump officially withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an Obama-era trade deal, and will begin talks next week to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, other planned trade measures have been slow to materialize.
Trump, in the past, has tied trade policy to national security. President Trump has previously chastised China for not doing enough about the hermit nation, however, an administration official said the move Monday is unrelated to North Korea.
A 2013 report by a commission co-chaired by Jon Huntsman, ambassador to China under President Barack Obama and Trump's nominee to be Russian envoy, pegged the losses from United States intellectual property theft at hundreds of billions of dollars annually that cost the USA economy millions of jobs.
The investigation would not mean immediate sanctions, but could ultimately lead to steep tariffs on Chinese goods, Politico said. In April, he said he wouldn't label China a currency manipulator, in return for help in dealing with North Korea.
The investigation is being ordered under US Trade Act of 1974, which officials said permits the USTR to investigate acts, policies or practices of a foreign country to determine whether they are indeed unreasonable or discriminatory that burden or otherwise restrict US commerce.
"We lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade with China". That initiative sets forth a long-term plan for China's dominance in a wide variety of high-tech industries, including electric vehicles, advanced medial products and robotics.
The U.S. business community, which traditionally lobbied U.S. administrations to take a softer approach toward Beijing to protect access to a profitable market, has shifted toward a tougher stance on China in response. "I've heard folks say, 'It's not going well, but a trade war would not be the best thing for us, dialogue is the better path.' And there are others who say, 'Bring it on, '" he said.