Trump has said he would be more amenable to going easy on Beijing if it were more aggressive in reining in North Korea.
After the telephones talks on Saturday, the White House said in a statement that the two leaders discussed the increasingly unsafe situation associated with North Korea's destabilizing and escalatory behavior.
The man behind the documentary "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power" may not see eye-to-eye with Mr. Trump on environmental issues, but he told Newsweek for an interview published Friday that diplomatic crises over North Korea's nuclear weapons program is another story.
When reports of the potential trade investigation first emerged more than a week ago, China's Commerce Ministry stressed the importance of U.S.
The measure would seek to address what the USA 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 United States companies to part with valuable product designs and trade secrets - or to steal them outright. Xi urged both sides not to do anything that would aggravate tensions.
US President Donald Trump, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Hamburg last month. The Trump administration is insisting the move isn't tied to heightening tensions with North Korea, but it is inherently connected to complications in the region.
"The Chinese leader expressed Beijing's willingness to maintain communication with the United States to appropriately resolve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue", the network reported.
Nations race to prevent backsliding on sweeping North Korea sanctions
And while North Korea has been under sanctions since 2006, that's never deterred buyers - until maybe now. The new sanctions include the full ban on the export of coal, iron and iron ore from the North Korea .
They added that the trade measure would be carried out under the rules of worldwide law and would not trigger greater conflict with China.
Now, as North Korea presents fresh nuclear danger, those types of consultations appear to be history.
The Chinese policies of an American company to enter into a join venture with a Chinese company to do business is "not fair", the official said.
The process Lighthizer will initiate, under Article 302b of the US Commercial Code, could take as long as a year to yield its findings. "This is why the President has chosen to act now and to act boldly", one administration official said.
Politico said it was not clear how much detail Trump would provide in his announcement, but that administration officials expected U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to open a section 301 probe. But they may not know that China is forcing and coercing American companies that operate in China to turn over their technology.
While administration officials said Saturday that it's too early to discuss specific actions against China, such an investigation could eventually pave the way for Trump to impose tariffs on Chinese goods.