WASHINGTON: Already threatened by escalating U.S. taxes on its goods, China is about to find it much harder to invest in U.S. companies or to buy American technology in such cutting-edge areas as robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

President Donald Trump is expected as early as this week to sign legislation to tighten the U.S. government’s scrutiny of foreign investments and exports of sensitive technology.

The law, which Congress passed in a rare show of unity among Republicans and Democrats, doesn’t single out China. But there’s no doubt the intended target is Beijing. The Trump administration has accused China of using predatory tactics to steal American technology.

“As a policy signal, it speaks with a very loud voice,” said Harry Clark, head of the international trade practice at the law firm Orrick. “Leading decision makers and Congress are very concerned about technology transfer to China.”

The Trump administration has already imposed tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese exports and announced tariffs Tuesday on a further $16 billion.

Trump had initially ordered the Treasury Department to draft investment restrictions aimed specifically at China. But in late June, Trump decided instead to back Congress’ effort to tighten existing investment restrictions and export controls on all countries, rather than China alone.

The new law strengthens reviews of foreign investment by the existing Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, which is led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The committee can now review any investments that grant foreigners access to a U.S. company’s high-tech trade secrets. Before the change, such reviews were done only when a foreigner gained control of a company.

The law also gives the committee oversight of real estate deals deemed to pose a national security risk by putting foreigners in “close proximity” to government offices and military bases.

The measures could burden U.S. companies that will find it harder to attract Chinese investment or to share technology the U.S. government might deem sensitive.

“It could be that we’re pushing American tech firms out of China,” said Derek Scissors, China specialist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.