American companies "should not be forced or coerced to turn over the fruits of their labour", the official said, adding that the cost of intellectual theft on United States economy is estimated to be as high as Dollars 600 billion a year.
In an interview with MSNBC, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served in Vietnam and also worked as assistant to Powell when he was Ronald Regan's National Security Adviser, said that Trump was acting like he was negotiating a deal with casino mogul Steve Wynn.
The investigation could take as long as a year, US officials said.
But experts say China, which accounts for around 90% of North Korea's foreign trade, is unwilling to squeeze Kim's regime hard enough to make it give up on its nuclear program because that would risk the chaotic collapse of a state that Beijing wants to keep as a strategic buffer. An investigation by Lighthizer could possibly lead to tariffs against China and action through the World Trade Organization.
China has repeatedly called for dialogue to peacefully resolve the mounting tensions, but its proposal for North Korea to suspend its weapons programmes in exchange for the United States and South Korea to halt military drills has been ignored. They said that US companies had long suffered because of Chinese intellectual property violations, and that they expected Congress and the business community to support the measure.
"China's unfair trade practices and industrial policies including forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft harm the U.S. economy and its workers", a second administration official said.
"Americans are among the most innovative", said one official.
"China is widely recognised as the biggest source of the problem", he said.
"We would like to emphasize that the Chinese government has always attached importance to intellectual property protection", a spokesman said.
The results of three separate investigations into trade deficits and the national security threats posed by imports of steel and aluminum, initially expected by the end of June, have yet to appear. Instead, he is leading the administration is dusting off a variety of powerful and unilateral measures under US trade law, many of which the United States stopped using after the creation of the WTO, which has its own mechanisms to settle trade disputes. Lighthizer can do so under Section 302 (b) of the Trade Act of 1974, which outlines the process by which USTR can initiate an investigation "by means other than petition", a senior official told reporters on August 12. 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. "And I think China will do a lot more".
The administration has been eyeing other moves to rebalance the U.S.