The United States is planning to use an emergency law in order to ratchet up its scrutiny of Chinese investments in key industries, Bloomberg News reported Monday.
The report, which cites eight sources familiar with the plans, said such a move would put "Washington's trade war with Beijing on a potentially irreversible course".
"Under the plan, the White House would use one of the most significant legal measures available to declare China's investment in US companies involved in technologies such as new-energy vehicles, robotics and aerospace a threat to economic and national security," Blooomberg reported.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is expected to push for the plan in a report set for release on June 29, it added.
The report comes after President Donald Trump's "America First" administration earlier this month announced new tariffs of 25 percent on $50 billion in Chinese imports.
He then ordered his foreign trade chief to identify another $200 billion worth of imports for a 10 percent levy, citing China's "unacceptable" move to raise its own tariffs.
China, also affected by US steel tariffs, has denounced Trump's approach as "extreme pressure and blackmail", warning it would "take strong, powerful countermeasures" if the president enacts his threats.
The tensions, which for weeks have struck fear into the hearts of global investors, add to those sparked by the trade dispute between the United States and the European Union.
The EU riposted last week against emblematic American exports in response to US tariffs on steel and aluminium.