The administration is also weighing auto import tariffs and restrictions on Chinese investment in USA technology. The Communist Party newspaper People's Daily said they were imposed on a $34 billion list of goods issued last month that included soybeans, pork and electric vehicles.
The Chinese side sees Trump's threats as an attempt to hold back its economic growth - and has vowed to match them move for move. United States tariffs on steel and aluminum imports have provoked retaliatory measures against billions of dollars of American exports. The Shanghai Composite index fell 1.1%, after reaching more than a two-year low this week.
The conflict between the world's two biggest economies reflects chronic tension in their relationship as customers, business partners, and increasingly competitors.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday she would back lowering European Union tariffs on United States auto imports, responding to an offer from Washington to abandon threatened levies on European cars in return for concessions.
GREG BAKER via Getty Images A Ford Mustang is seen at a dealership in Beijing on July 6, 2018.
President Donald Trump, warning of subsequent rounds of tariffs affecting pretty much all Chinese exports to the U.S.: "You have another 16 (billion dollars) in two weeks, and then, as you know, we have $200 billion in abeyance and then after the $200 billion, we have $300 billion in abeyance. Ok?"
With just hours to go before the US and China trigger billions in tariffs against each other, President Donald Trump is continuing the tough talk.
The US has applied tariffs on goods imported from China worth $34bn in the latest measures created to tackle its trade deficit with the Asian country.
In the latest sign that the risk of penalties is hitting trade, a vessel carrying USA coal heading for China switched its destination to Singapore.
"We're here because President Trump says China is stealing our intellectual property", said Cohen, "We plan on imposing tariffs equivalent to what we believe was the harm caused to us by reason of intellectual property theft".
"This is a potential concern for the outlook of corporate investment and consumption around world", Hui said.
While Chinese state media have slammed Trump's protectionism and on Friday likened his administration to a "gang of hoodlums", the trade conflict has gained little traction on China's tightly controlled social media, not cracking the 50 top-searched topics on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.
This will be affected by how high individual tariffs are, and also if they are expanded to other countries like Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
"The worldwide financial crisis, which ensured that we now act in the framework of the G-20, would never have been resolved so quickly, despite the pain, if we hadn't cooperated in a multilateral fashion in the spirit of comradeship", Merkel said on Wednesday.
Gao said China's foreign trade was expected to continue on a stable path in the second half of the year, though investors fear a full-blown Sino-U.S. trade war would deal a body blow to Chinese exports and its economy.
However, Guo Shuqing, head of China's banking and insurance regulator, said in a statement that the trade war would not affect China's own reforms and opening up, and that it was confident going forward.
"The U.S. has maintained hegemony in the military and financial fields for many decades".
A member of China's central bank monetary policy committee, Ma Jun, said today that the first punches will have a "limited impact" on the Chinese economy.