All told, Trump has threatened eventually to slap tariffs on up to $550 billion in Chinese imports - more than China actually exported to the United States previous year - if Beijing won't relent to USA pressure and continues to retaliate.
The Trump administration on July 6 imposed 25 per cent duties on US$34 billion in Chinese imports, the first time the president has implemented tariffs directly on Beijing after threatening to do so for months.
"For many years, China has pursued abusive trading practices with regard to intellectual property and innovation", Mr. Lighthizer said in a statement on Tuesday.
However, in a statement this morning the Chinese ministry of commerce hit back, saying: "China is shocked by United States behaviour".
China hit back with its own levies - targeting United States products such as mixed nuts and whiskey.
The move drew immediate condemnation from Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, who called it "reckless" and not "targeted".
The US said that was in response to Beijing's failure to change its policies and to retaliate for last week's US tariff hike by increasing its own duties on American goods.
Meanwhile, farmers hurt by Chinese tariffs on USA agricultural exports pose a political risk for Mr. Trump and for Republicans, especially as the November midterm elections loom.
U.S. President Donald Trump is pushing his trade conflict with China toward a point where neither side can back down.
The round of tariffs that went into effect last Friday mainly applied to raw materials imported by American companies. Rogers says that, "Before January 2017 all the imports came from China, including Hong Kong".
China's assistant commerce minister Li Chenggang said earlier on Wednesday that the latest proposed tariffs harms the World Trade Organisation (WTO) system and hurts globalisation.
China slammed the latest U.S. tariff threat as a "totally unacceptable" escalation of their trade battle and vowed Wednesday to protect its "core interests".
Trump has been considering tariffs against China since his officials concluded in March that Beijing violates USA intellectual-property rights, such as by forcing American firms to hand over technology.
"It is a chaotic time in global trade", said Li. Regulators can deny or cancel licences or tie up companies by launching tax, environmental or anti-monopoly investigations. French said. "The way things are shaping up, it may be too late, but we hope the administration changes course before we lose the momentum from tax and regulatory reform and return to an era of high prices, job loss and negative growth in our economy".
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