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"The President would sign an executive memorandum that directs the US Trade Representatives (USTR) Robert Lighthizer to determine if it is consistent whether to investigate any of China's laws, policies, practices or actions that make unreasonable or discriminatory or may be harming American intellectual property, innovation of technology", a senior administration official told reporters.

In a background briefing with reporters on Saturday, White House officials pointed to frustration from US businesses that they have to share intellectual property with China as a condition for doing business in the country.

"In light of the ongoing standoff between the United States and North Korea, as well as President Trump's reckless words, I ask that you immediately call the House of Representatives back into session to debate legislation prohibiting the US from conducting a pre-emptive nuclear strike without prior Congressional authorization", he said.

The comments came after Trump unleashed a slew of fresh threats against North Korea on Friday, declaring the USA military "locked and loaded".

Trump, in the past, has tied trade policy to national security.

Trump is expected to return to Washington from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. on Monday to sign the memo.

The decision will not only take action against alleged Chinese violations of USA companies' intellectual property rights, but could also be perceived as an attempt by the US government to crank up the pressure on Beijing to rein in North Korea.

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"I don't think we're heading toward a period of greater conflict (with China)", said one White House official.

"We will no longer allow this to continue".

Rep. David Cicilline urged Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday to call back the House from its August recess in order to debate legislation that would require congressional approval for a US pre-emptive strike.

Asked Friday if the US was going to war, he said cryptically, "I think you know the answer to that".

Trump has pushed China to pressure North Korea to halt a nuclear weapons program that is nearing the capability of targeting the United States. Trump made addressing the United States trade deficit with China a centre-piece of his campaign past year and has suggested raising tariffs on goods from China.

Sun said there were two kinds of Taiwanese products that could be hurt by possible trade sanctions, the most obvious being goods assembled in China before they are shipped to the U.S.

"Protection measures against some specific items, such as steel and aluminum, may gain political favors, but are not likely to be of much help to rebalance trade", economists at the Institute of International Finance wrote in a research note this week.

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