The White House on Wednesday would not give details on President Barack Obama’s comments that the United States is preparing countervailing actions against China for engaging in industrial espionage and stealing trade secrets over the Internet.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama was “intentionally non-specific” in the comments but added that the economic sanctions the United States has used over cyber espionage have had a deterrent effect.

While speaking to the Business Roundtable, Obama had said that his administration is preparing measures that “will put significant strains on a bilateral relationship” but that he hoped the measures would not have to be used.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Lisa Lambert; Editing by Bill Trott)

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