WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is setting the stage to unveil tough new trade penalties against China early next year, moving closer to an oft-promised crackdown that some U.S. business executives fear will ignite a costly battle.

Several corporate officials and analysts closely tracking trade policy said that President Trump is expected to take concrete actions on a range of disputes involving China within weeks.

Trump is expected by the end of January to render his first decision in response to petitions from U.S. companies seeking tariffs or import quotas on Chinese solar panels and washing machines manufactured in China and its neighbors.

U.S. trade officials in both cases already have determined that domestic manufacturers have been injured by surging imports and have recommended that he erect new trade barriers.

Trump could also order new limits on Chinese investment in the United States or raise tariffs unilaterally – a likely violation of U.S. commitments to the World Trade Organization – pending the outcome of a broader investigation into Beijing’s alleged failure to protect foreign companies’ intellectual property rights, analysts say.

And White House action is due on a separate Commerce Department probe triggered by worries about the national security impact of rising imports of Chinese steel and aluminum.

“Their intent is to bring shock and awe,” said Scott Kennedy, an expert on Chinese trade at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “They’re not kidding around.”

It’s not yet clear how extensive the administration actions will be. Trump’s repeated campaign vows to retaliate against China for policies that he says contributed to the loss of millions of U.S. jobs have yet to translate into concrete action. During a visit to Beijing last month, the president blamed his White House predecessors rather than Chinese President Xi Jinping for the yawning bilateral trade deficit.

That gap has only grown since Trump became president, despite his “America First” rhetoric. Through the first 10 months of 2017, the U.S. incurred a $309 billion trade deficit with China, up from $289 billion during the same period one year earlier.

“So far, it’s been the Teddy Roosevelt philosophy turned on its head: Speak loudly and carry a small stick,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a nonprofit established by the United Steelworkers union and major steel makers.

Still, in recent weeks, there have been mounting signs of the president’s intention to act. In a new national security strategy, the president earlier this month described China as a strategic competitor and said that when it comes to trade, the United States “will no longer turn a blind eye to violations, cheating or economic aggression.”