Robert Lighthizer, US Trade Representative, told Reuters that President Donald Trump directed a higher 25 percent tariff from an earlier proposed 10 per cent, because of Beijing's refusal to meet US demands and has imposed retaliatory tariffs.
But what exactly prompted Trump to push for the sharp reset in Chinese tariffs?
After Liu visited Washington later that month, the nations released a joint statement pledging to reduce the USA trade deficit with China, among other things.
With Mr Trump now lining up tariffs affecting nearly half of the goods arriving from China, the mining sector, which relies heavily on solid growth in Asia's engine room, lurched into the red along with metal prices.
"It's important countries refrain from devaluing currencies for competitive purposes", a senior administration official said, and although he didn't accuse China of acting in that fashion, the implication was clear.
Wang's comments came after the U.S. Trade Representative announced Wednesday it was considering raising import duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods by 25 percent instead of the previously planned 10 percent.
The review of the higher tariff is a request from President Donald Trump, who wants China to change its trade practices.
Markets are focusing on Japan's central bank. Here's what experts predict
Repeated purchases of JGBs have robbed the bond market of liquidity, and near-zero rates under YCC have strained bank lending. The greenback had pared some of its gains about two hours after the decision, trading 0.2 percent higher at 111.30 yen.
The White House had imposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from the EU, drawing retaliatory levies on United States motorcycles, jeans and whiskey while prompting threats of even more measures from the White House, this time targeting the mighty European automotive sector.
The plan to more than double the tariff rate was first reported by Bloomberg News. It would become another factor for the Federal Reserve to consider as it decides how quickly to raise interest rates.
"If we're going to use tariffs, this gives us more flexibility and it's a more meaningful threat", he said.
Trump set his sights on China during the 2016 presidential campaign and has followed through during his presidency with a protectionist strategy that he says is aimed at strengthening USA companies and boosting jobs at home.
Meanwhile, in corporate America, it appears that there is just one thing executives are talking about: tariffs. "This won't work on China", Geng said. This averted a Transatlantic tariff fight and soothed market concerns over what could have descended into a global "trade war". "We advise the United States to be level-headed and avoid simply acting on impulse, otherwise it will ultimately hurt itself".
China is experiencing a weakening economy, hurting its ability to withstand US trade pressure.
The trade talks between Washington and Beijing have bogged down in recent weeks, a period in which the two nations have imposed reciprocal tariff hikes on various products.