In rolling out the tariffs, the US Treasury Department accused China of "theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices". The tariffs are also meant to punish China for cyberespionage, theft of US companies' trade secrets and theft of intellectual property, like patents.
"We have taken essentially a defensive action", a senior United States official told reporters, adding that "further threats that are going to hurt other industries. would be a mistake". In the statement, Trump said those measures would be implemented only if the Chinese strike back at Friday's move.
The immediate impact of tariffs on US growth is expected to be relatively small, but economists warn a prolonged trade war could damage business investment and consumer confidence. "They've taken so much", Trump said in an interview with "Fox & Friends".
US Customs and Border Protection will begin collecting tariffs on 818 product categories valued at $US34 billion on July 6, the US Trade Representative's office said.
That list will be subjected to a public comment and hearing period before the USTR decides to move forward with the tariffs.
Paulsen said Chinese retaliation, "in particular on soybeans, will be especially damaging to Minnesota".
Trump said the tariffs would be imposed on a list of strategically important imports from China. But U.S. industries that have held their own in the global economy also stand to take a hit.
"It's thorough. It's moderate".
The tariffs will also be applied to autos and aquatic products. The U.S. imported more than $2.7 billion in Chinese seafood past year, and the U.S. exported more than $1.3 billion to China.
Trump's new 25 percent tariffs will target $50 billion in Chinese imports across a wide variety of industries.
The action will come one day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Beijing for talks with Chinese leaders about the president's recent meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The president has coordinated closely with China on efforts to get Pyongyang to eliminate its nuclear arsenal.
"Let's work on the trade issue but not by issuing tariffs".
The administration is also working on proposed Chinese investment restrictions by June 30.
The additional tariffs on Chinese goods in the USA will "substantially change" the trade conditions of these products, also affecting relevant producers and trade companies as well as the production and operation of the upstream and downstream industries, an official in charge of the Office of the Customs Tariff Commission.
"We're shooting ourselves in the foot", U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., said in a news release.
Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful that they could strangle economic growth and undermine the benefits of the tax cuts Trump signed into law a year ago.
Yesterday, the Trump administration imposed a 25% tariff on a wide range of Chinese products (659 in total), worth around $US50 billion in annual trade. Friday's actions are only aimed at China.
"Imposing tariffs places the cost of China's unfair trade practices squarely on the shoulders of American consumers, manufacturers, farmers, and ranchers".