United States President Donald Trump on Monday authorised an inquiry into China’s alleged theft of intellectual property, Reuters reported. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer now has a year’s time to look into the allegations that China’s trade policies on intellectual property are harming US businesses and jobs.

Trump called Monday’s order of an inquiry “a very big move”. The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property has estimated that the US economy loses up to $600 billion (about Rs 3,84,33,00 crore) every year because of counterfeit goods, pirated software and theft of trade secrets. The Commission has claimed that China is the world’s No.1 intellectual property infringer, and is responsible for 87% of counterfeit goods entering the US.

Firms in the US have also claimed that the country’s $310 billion (about Rs 1,98,57,05 crore) trade deficit with China is partly because Chinese companies copy US products and ideas and then sell them back to the US at lower prices, reported the BBC. US firms are also upset about rules in China that require any company to forge a local partnership and disclose it’s intellectual property before entering the market.