Last Friday, the USA imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese products, and Beijing responded by hitting the same amount of US imports.
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. These levies target sectors key to China's industrial strategy, including computer hardware, railway equipment and aerospace manufacturing.
Some companies had successfully lobbied to get their products excluded from an earlier list of United States tariffs.
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Washington made a decision to impose the extra tariffs after efforts to negotiate a solution to the trade dispute failed to reach an agreement, senior administration officials said on Tuesday.
The trade confrontation between Washington and Beijing has been escalating for months, despite Trump's repeated statements that he has a good relationship with China's President Xi Jinping.
Harborn said a European supplier of environmental technology believed it might have been awarded a Chinese government contract ahead of an American competitor due to its non-U.S. status. Beijing immediately retaliated with similar duties on US exports.
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Chinese tariffs have already taken a toll on USA exports such as soybeans, which raises questions about the possible political repercussions President Trump could face from farmers who supported him in the 2016 election.
"Unfortunately, China has not changed its behaviour - behaviour that puts the future of the USA economy at risk". "We can not turn a blind eye to China's mercantilist trade practices, but this action falls short of a strategy that will give the administration negotiating leverage with China while maintaining the long-term health and prosperity of the American economy".
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has supported Mr Trump's tax cuts and efforts to reduce regulation of businesses, also criticised the administration's move.
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Members of Congress are increasingly questioning Trump's aggressive trade policies, warning that tariffs on imports raise prices for consumers and expose USA farmers and manufacturers to retaliation overseas. The trade war could also jeopardize China's help in confronting North Korea's nuclear program. And China's retaliation was targeted at soy farmers and others in the U.S. Republican heartland. Such an escalation pushes the situation from a trade skirmish to a trade war. There's a reason they shop at Walmart. "He just expects them to get in line behind whatever he wants".