President Donald Trump vowed to hit back on a growing list of products after China retaliated in kind for the first round of 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of imports that Washington imposed 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", Lighthizer says.
The foreign ministry described Washington's threats as "typical bullying" and said China needed to counter-attack to protect its interests.
The country's Commerce Ministry earlier threatened "comprehensive measures", which were feared to include harassing American companies in China.
'TARIFFS ARE TAXES' Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a senior member of Trump's Republican Party, said the announcement "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach".
"China provides massive, market-distorting subsidies and other forms of state support to its domestic industries", Shea said. That prompted fears Beijing might go beyond matching USA import tax increases by harassing American companies in China.
Accusing China of not negotiating "seriously" on trade, the Trump administration has released a list of products it wants to impose a ten percent tariff on, amounting to $200 billion.
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Rabobank said last week it reckoned China will have to buy 15 million tonnes of U.S. beans with the new tariff this year because there are not enough alternative sources of beans from other major exporters, like Brazil and Argentina.
Stocks began to be traded lower today as a trade war between the USA and the other major economies became a reality after President Donald Trump unveiled new tariffs on Chinese goods.
"Judging from (China's) economic fundamentals and corporate earnings expectations, which are under pressure amid the trade war with the United States, the stock market is yet to reach a bottom", said Yan Kaiwen, an analyst with China Fortune Securities.
Investors said trade war worries may slip to the background as investors begin to focus more closely on second-quarter earnings over the coming weeks.
Financial markets could take a harder fall if China retaliates to the latest volley of USA tariffs, as Beijing has vowed, according to research firm Capital Economics.
'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'. China has vowed to retaliate dollar-for-dollar to any further US tariffs.
Auto parts retailers, which would also be affected by the latest tariff threats the USA lobbed at China, fell more steeply than the broader market.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry said Tuesday that it would be forced to retaliate against what it called "totally unacceptable" US tariffs.