Photo: Reuters / Jonathan Ernst

US President Donald Trump said in an interview Wednesday that he would soon be announcing trade action against China, raising the prospect of a “fine” related to intellectual property theft.

“We have a very big intellectual property potential fine going, which is going to come out soon,” Trump said in the interview with Reuters.

“We’re talking about big damages. We’re talking about numbers that you haven’t even thought about,” he warned.

The president added that he will address the issue in his State of the Union address at that end of this month.

Regarding the possibility of a trade war stemming from potential US action on steel, aluminum or solar panels, Trump said he hopes it doesn’t come to that.

“I don’t think so, I hope not. But if there is, there is.”

China’s foreign ministry insisted in response that there is nothing other than “market behavior” behind any instances of technology transfer.

“There is absolutely no government meddling in these actions,” ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a regular press briefing Thursday.

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