"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.
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 U.S. economy is estimated to be as high as United States dollars 600 billion a year.
The investigation could take as long as a year, US officials said.
While China joined in a unanimous U.N. Security Council decision to tighten economic sanctions on Pyongyang over its long-range missile tests, it is not clear whether Trump thinks Beijing is doing enough.
The statement Friday does not mention any specific actions China would be willing to take, although some Chinese scholars and state media have called on Beijing to take on a shuttle diplomacy role to facilitate talks between the US and North Korea.
They reiterated their mutual commitment to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, the White House said in a statement.
Mr Trump had been expected to order a so-called Section 301 investigation under the 1974 Trade Act earlier this month, but action had been postponed as the White House pressed for China's cooperation in reining in North Korea's nuclear programme.
Trump has escalated his harsh criticism of North Korea for days, tweeting Friday that the US had military options "locked and loaded".
Michael Wessel, a commissioner on the U.S.
"President Trump is committed to protect America's intellectual property and national security", the official said. They said that USA companies had long suffered because of Chinese intellectual property violations, and that they expected Congress and the business community to support the measure.
Should an investigation find wrongdoing, Trump could impose tariffs against Chinese imports, which would mark a significant escalation in his efforts to reshape the trade relationship between the world's two largest economies. But Trump also told Xi about the move toward a possible inquiry into China's trade practices, according to two US officials familiar with that conversation.
President Trump plans to get tougher on trade with China.
Earlier this year, an independent commission on US intellectual property estimated that the annual cost to the USA economy in counterfeit goods, pirated software, and theft of trade secrets from all sources exceeds $225 billion and could be as high as $600 billion.
"At present, relevant parties should exercise restraint and avoid words and actions that would escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula", Xi said, according to the statement provided by China's government. "Those activities haven't abated; they've accelerated as China seeks to become self-sufficient in new technologies and dominate world markets", he said.
Trump is expected to be in Washington on Monday, breaking into what he's termed a working vacation at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club.
The United States has previously complained at the WTO about Chinese trade policies, including its "Made in China 2025" initiative, which seeks to have Chinese-made materials account for 70 percent of manufacturing inputs within the next eight years. They know how I feel. "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.