President Trump is set to impose steep tariffs on a further $16 billion of Chinese exports this month, escalating the fierce trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.
The U.S. action that prompted the Chinese retaliation was the latest by President Donald Trump to put pressure on China to negotiate trade concessions, after Washington imposed tariffs on $34 billion in goods last month.
Additionally, an executive from China's Dongming Petrochemical Group said at the time that he expected Beijing to soon impose the tariff on USA oil imports.
China's 25 percent tariffs will apply to USA products such as coal, gasoline, vehicles, motorcycles and medical equipment.
The list of USA imports affected by the taxes includes coal, oil, chemicals and some medical equipment.
"This is a very unreasonable practice", the Chinese commerce ministry said on Wednesday.
As the U.S. -China trade spat turns into a full-blown war with tariffs and retaliatory tariffs and threats of further tariffs, U.S. energy exports to China may suffer with Beijing now following through with its threat to slap tariffs on U.S. oil and oil product imports.
"With each successive round of tariffs, Trump continues to back China into a corner, forcing Beijing to respond in kind", said James Zimmerman, a partner in the Beijing office of worldwide law firm Perkins Coie and a former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. Those duties could be in place after a comment period ends on 6 September. The $16 billion taxed in the latest round brings the total amount of Chinese goods taxed up to $50 billion. Year-on-year, the growth of China's exports to the U.S. slowed to 11 percent last month from 12.5 percent in June, while import growth accelerated to 11 percent from 9 percent.
It will be the second time the United States slaps duties on Chinese goods in about the past month, despite complaints by American companies that such moves will raise business costs and eventually consumer prices.
Over the weekend, Trump said he had the upper hand in the trade war, while Beijing responded through state media by saying it was ready to endure the economic fallout. It would likely have to impose penalties on US companies doing business in China to make up the difference. Washington has long criticized China's trade surplus with the United States and has demanded Beijing cut it.