Trump will direct US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to determine whether any Chinese laws, policies or practices discriminate against or harm American innovators and technology companies, the officials said.
Trump's call with Xi and his plans to open the broad trade investigation come against the backdrop of rising tensions over North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Trump said Friday that he planned to call Chinese President Xi Jinping that evening.
The comments came after Trump unleashed a slew of fresh threats against North Korea on Friday, declaring the USA military "locked and loaded".
It wasn't immediately clear how China would react to the move. The investigation is being ordered under US Trade Act of 1974, which officials said permits the USTR to investigate acts, policies or practices of a foreign country to determine whether they are indeed unreasonable or discriminatory that burden or otherwise restrict US commerce.
Trump is expected to return to Washington from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. on Monday to sign the memo. U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday issued fresh threats of swift and forceful retaliation against nuclear North Korea, declaring the U.S. military "locked and loaded" and warning that the communist country's leader "will regret it fast" if he takes any action against U.S. territories or allies.
United States President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron have discussed North Korean issues and agreed to work to denuclearize North Korea.
The process Lighthizer will initiate, under Article 302b of the US Commercial Code, could take as long as a year to yield its findings.
In an editorial on Saturday, North Korea's Minju Joson newspaper said that the US "finds itself in an ever worsening dilemma, being thrown into the grip of extreme security unrest by the DPRK".
"I think China can do a lot more", Trump told reporters on Thursday.
The second are products that are similar to those China exports in large quantities to the US, such as steel or petrochemical products, Sun said.
Asked Friday if the USA was going to war, he said cryptically, "I think you know the answer to that".
"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". 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 United States economy is estimated to be as high as United States dollars 600 billion a year.