"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.
Alleged intellectual property theft by China has been an issue of particular concern to Silicon Valley.
The move, which could eventually lead to steep tariffs on Chinese goods, comes at a time when Trump has asked China to do more to crack down on North Korea's nuclear missile program as he threatens possible military action against Pyongyang.
The phone call with the French President came hours after Trump spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The comments came after Trump unleashed a slew of fresh threats against North Korea on Friday, declaring the US military "locked and loaded".
China's foreign and commerce ministries did not immediately respond to faxed requests for comment Sunday.
Trump, who has been residing at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for the past week, plans to return to Washington on Monday to officially announce the trade investigation. North Korea responded by detailing a plan to fire ballistic missiles toward the USA territory of Guam, home to US military bases. "If China helps us, I feel a lot different towards trade".
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Trump has pushed China to pressure North Korea to halt a nuclear weapons program that is nearing the capability of targeting the United States.
In an editorial on Saturday, North Korea's Minju Joson newspaper said that the USA "finds itself in an ever worsening dilemma, being thrown into the grip of extreme security unrest by the DPRK".
The White House says Trump also told Xi he looked forward to seeing him in China later this year.
The second are products that are similar to those China exports in large quantities to the USA, such as steel or petrochemical products, Sun said.
"If Americans continue to have their best technology and intellectual property stolen, or forcibly transferred offshore, the United States will find it hard to maintain its current technology-leadership position and to remain one of the world's most innovative economies".
The measure would seek to address what the United States business community has described as flagrant trade violations by China, which employs a variety of rules and practices to wall its market off from foreign competition and pressure U.S. companies to part with valuable product designs and trade secrets - or to steal them outright.