In an interview Ciu Tianki - the communist state's' ambassador to the USA - says the country won't be deterred from a trade war, even threatening to reduce imports from US farmers over it's new restrictions.
As a result, foreign investment, particularly from China, has become increasingly critical to financing USA economic growth. USA stock futures traded lower after the S&P 500 Index closed down 2.5%, the biggest drop in six weeks.
Trump campaigned on promises to bring down America's massive trade deficit $566 billion a year ago by rewriting trade agreements and cracking down on what he called abusive practices by USA trading partners.
Chinese officials have said that protecting foreign companies' intellectual property rights is important to China.
"China does not want to fight a trade war, but it is absolutely not afraid of a trade war", the commerce ministry said. The American pork industry sent $1.1 billion in products, making China the No. 3 market for USA pork.
That list will include aerospace, information and communication technology, and machinery, according to a USTR fact sheet.
Trump has given his administration 15 days to come up with a list of tariffs, after which there would be 30 days of public consultation, and nearly certainly intense lobbying from within the United States.
"Trump's tariff plans have created uncertainty and put global stock markets under pressure", says Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, a United Kingdom -based investment firm.
Trump has repeatedly accused Beijing of unfair trade practices like currency manipulation - which helps China make its exports more affordable - and of stealing U.S. intellectual property.
Those rules are embodied and overseen by the World Trade Organization, which now sees its authority challenged and possibly diluted by the US government's move to create tariffs without prior consultations - posing a threat to a trade architecture meticulously built up over decades.
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The US administration's increasing focus on punishing China was evident in its decision to exempt allies like the EU, South Korea, Brazil, Canada and Mexico from what were supposed to be worldwide tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
"China appears to be breaking WTO rules by denying foreign patent holders, including USA companies, basic patent rights to stop a Chinese entity from using the technology after a licensing contract ends", said the USTR in its statement. "A number of participants reported about their conversations with business leaders around the country and reported that trade policy has become a concern", Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said this week, while cautioning that trade issues haven't changed the Fed's outlook. Trump also said, "This is the first of many", as he ramps up punishments after the administration has blamed China for nefarious trade practices and stealing American intellectual property.
In the interview, the British professor noted that Trump's China tariffs were "bad for general U.S".
Trump justified the move as a response to the theft of USA companies' intellectual property by the Chinese government.
Intellectual property theft has been a major complaint of American companies doing business in China for decades. "We will retaliate. If people want to play tough, we will play tough with them and see who will last longer", Chinese ambassador Cui Tiankai said in a video posted to the embassy's Facebook page.
Since his inauguration in January previous year, Donald Trump has regularly taken to Twitter to proclaim the gains in US stocks, often appearing to take credit for their rise. "Worries about escalation therefore won't go away". "One could argue (I certainly do) that overall, the multilateral system has been a good thing for the USA, and trashing it will not lead to a better outcome".
"I view them as a friend".
"Hearing all this noise of late, sometimes makes me think of what Confucius said: 'The gentleman is easy of mind, while the small man is always full of anxiety, '" Hua said.
The trade tensions could send a shudder through the global economy and complicate Xi's efforts to sustain China's rapid growth in the face of rising debt and an aging population. The metal tariffs have since been softened by the US with multiple exemptions for Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Brazil, South Korea and Germany, which account for more than half of all imports.