The Trump administration plans to announce sanctions against China on Thursday after determining that the country is encouraging the theft and transfer of intellectual property from US businesses.
The White House 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.
The White House is reported by US media to be considering between $30bn-$60bn in tariffs as well as measures that would restrict investment.
The US may also seek to bring complaints to the World Trade Organisation, trade officials said.
America’s top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, told members of Congress on Wednesday the US is looking to put “maximum pressure on China and minimum pressure on US consumers”.
Mr Lighthizer said protecting intellectual property is critical to the US economy.
“It’s an enormously important issue,” Mr Lighthizer said at the House Ways and Means hearing. “We think it is perhaps the most important thing that will have been done in terms of rebalancing trade.”