BEIJING (AP) — China’s legislature is considering a law to ban local governments from forcing foreign companies to hand over technology, an issue that helped to spark Washington’s tariff war with Beijing.

Beijing has long denied companies are required to trade technology for market access. But officials including Premier Li Keqiang promised this year to crack down as tensions with Washington heated up.

The official Xinhua News Agency said a proposed foreign investment law taken up Sunday by the national legislature would make clear officials cannot “force the transfer of technology” as a condition of business ventures.

Washington and Beijing have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods in a dispute over American complaints China’s industry plans are based on theft of technology and violate its market-opening obligations.