Trump last week said the United States may ultimately impose tariffs on more than US$500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of USA imports from China past year. President Trump had warned China that if the country retaliated to those tariffs, he would impose additional ones; China did, quickly adding tariffs to more than 500 different American imports.
The additional US tariffs, which will go through a two-month approval process including a public hearing, come after China retaliated in a tit-for-tat trade skirmish last week.
"For over a year, the Trump administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition", Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.
The foreign ministry described Washington's threats as "typical bullying" and said China needed to counter-attack to protect its interests.
"China is forced to strike back to safeguard core national interests and the interests of its people", the Commerce Ministry said.
The move drew immediate condemnation from Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, who called it "reckless" and not "targeted". US officials insist China's retaliatory tariffs are unjustified.
A final decision on the products to be hit with the new tariffs is expected following a consultation period in August.
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China slammed the US threat to expand tariff hikes to imports including apples, fish sticks and French doors as a "totally unacceptable" escalation of their trade battle on Wednesday and vowed to protect its "core interests".
'It is totally unacceptable for American side to publish a tariff list in a way that is accelerating and escalating, ' it said.
Pence cited several exporting opportunities that he said have improved during the Trump administration, including beef to China and poultry to South Korea.
The latest salvo is part of Mr. Trump's multifront trade war, which has seen Washington take on its rivals and allies alike in a bid to fulfill the President's promise of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States. They criticize Trump's tactics but share USA complaints about Beijing's industrial policies.
As a leading grain trader in these regions, Cofco could help to meet domestic demand, he said.
"Overnight, that unnerving trade war silence from the White House, which allowed stocks across the globe to charge higher in recent sessions, was broken". The Chinese government's industrial strategy to make its goods competitive on the global market, in place since 2015, seems to have been one of the key instigators of Trump's trade war.
Financial markets could take a harder fall if China retaliates to the latest volley of US tariffs, as Beijing has vowed, according to research firm Capital Economics. "Unfortunately, China has not changed its behavior - behavior that puts the future of the US economy at risk".