(Bloomberg) -- Beijing needs to be clearer on how it’s protecting intellectual property and address new forms of infringement, US commerce official Kathi Vidal said as trade tensions loom in an US election year.

“We’re still seeing major issues with regard to transparency,” Vidal, under secretary of commerce for intellectual property, told Bloomberg TV in an interview in Shanghai on Thursday. “It’s about transparency in terms of judicial decisions, and transparency in terms of enforcement.”

Vidal raised the issue with Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang in Beijing earlier this week amid a flurry of visits by US and EU officials who complained over China’s manufacturing capacity and treatment of foreign firms. President Biden on Wednesday proposed raising tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum as he sought to woo US steel workers ahead of November’s election, a move criticized by Beijing as arbitrary.

Read More: Biden Calls China ‘Xenophobic,’ Ramping Up Campaign Rhetoric

Concerns over weak intellectual property protections in China are among a swathe of issues that have roiled US-China ties. Biden in November said there were “real differences” with Beijing over maintaining a level playing field and IP safeguards after meeting Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Vidal, who is also director of the US Patent and Trademark Office, said sales of counterfeit goods via live-streaming are a growing concern for US firms, particularly in consumer goods sectors.

“We’re seeing new modalities including live-streaming, where a product will be offered for sale and then it’ll disappear,” Vidal said. “So it’s really hard to find out who the infringer is.”

Read More: Yellen Says Nothing Off Table in Response to China Overcapacity

Ding, one of the seven members of the Chinese Communist Party’s topmost ruling group, said at the Monday meeting with Vidal that China is ready to expand cooperation on intellectual property rights and foster a non-discriminatory business environment, according to China’s foreign ministry.

Vidal called those discussions “very frank and open.” She also said China has made improvements on some legislative and counterfeiting issues.

“From the CEOs and business leaders that I’ve been speaking to over the last few days, they are seeing some positive progress when it comes to enforcement,” Vidal said. “It’s just not universal and it’s not predictable.”

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.