"The United States Trade Representative (USTR) shall, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, use all available means to secure changes at the WTO that would prevent self-declared developing countries from availing themselves of flexibilities in WTO rules and negotiations that are not justified by appropriate economic and other indicators", the memorandum said.
The White House pointed out that China and many other countries style themselves as developing countries, "allowing them to enjoy the benefits that come with that status and seek weaker commitments than those made by other WTO members".
Last March, US President Donald Trump signed a memorandum to impose new tariffs on imports from China that mainly referred to technology products. The president obliged the Office of the United States Trade Representative to launch legal proceedings against China at the WTO over trade law breaches, including its licensing practices.
China has resolutely denied accusations of intellectual property theft.