The White House plans to announce sanctions against China on March 22 after determining that the country is encouraging the theft and transfer of intellectual property from US businesses.
The Trump administration said the actions come after years of talks about the issue that failed to produce change.
The actions are expected to include tariffs, as well as other measures.
The plans have stoked fears of a wider trade war.
According to media, the White House is considering between $30 billion and $60 billion in tariffs as well as measures that would restrict investment.
Trade officials also said that the US may also seek to bring complaints to the World Trade Organization.
The US’s top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, told members of Congress on March 21 the US is looking to put “maximum pressure on China and minimum pressure on US consumers”.
A US trade official, who spoke to reporters as part of a briefing, said the US has evidence that China requires companies to create local partnerships to enter the Chinese market, as a way of pressuring them into technology transfer.
The US also found evidence that China steers investments in the US to strategic industries, and conducts and supports cyber attacks.
The findings come from a review of China’s practices that President Donald Trump ordered in August, called a 301 investigation.
According to section 301 of the trade act, the US government has given itself the power to unilaterally impose sanctions against countries which it decides are not trading fairly.
President Trump has repeatedly railed against the massive US trade deficit with China.
There is growing concern in the US that China is seeking technology that could be deployed for military purposes.
Congress is also weighing legislation that would boost the government’s power to review foreign business deals, citing the threat posed by state-backed acquisition of US companies.
China has said there would be no winner from any trade war.
On March 20, the last day of the annual sitting of the National People’s Congress, China’s Premier Le Keqiang said he hoped both sides could remain “calm”.
The Chinese prime minister also said he hoped the US would ease restrictions on exports of high-tech goods to China.