China, claiming the United States had "launched a trade war", retaliated nearly immediately, outlining its own tariffs on U.S. goods worth $50 billion.
The president ordered his administration to prepare a new package of tariffs affecting as much as $200 billion worth of China trade.
Trump had already warned last week of "additional tariffs" should Beijing hit back with tit-for-tat duties on American goods.
"If China increases its tariffs yet again, we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods".
Trump called the tariffs "essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs".
President Trump said the new tariffs will go into effect unless China ends its malicious trade practices.
It wasn't immediately clear when the new tariffs could be put in place, as the trade office has yet to identify the Chinese goods to be penalized or conduct a legal review.
The exchange of blows between Washington and Beijing has heightened fears of a protracted dispute that could hurt global growth and particularly Europe, given that Trump has signalled he wants to impose tariffs on automotive exports. He added that China is a "predatory economic government" that is "long overdue in being tackled", matters that include IP theft and Chinese steel and aluminum flooding the US market. "Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening U.S. companies, workers and farmers who have done nothing wrong".
Trump administration approves $50 billion tariffs on China
They are part of Trump's decision to go forward with "pretty significant" tariffs , an administration official said yesterday. That raises the specter of an intensifying trade war, which would hurt consumers , companies and the global economy.
Trump has repeatedly called on China to end unfair trade practices and theft of US intellectual property.
Trump's comments come hours after the top USA diplomat accused China of engaging in "predatory economics 101" and an "unprecedented level of larceny" of intellectual property.
The US announced plans for tariffs this spring, after an investigation into China's intellectual property practices. "It's an unprecedented level of larceny". "The problem is, such a tactic is unlikely to work with China", said Kota Hirayama, senior emerging markets economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo.
Pompeo said excess Chinese steel and aluminum production had flooded the market and suppressed global prices for the metals, making it hard for American companies to compete.
China's retaliation list was increased more than six-fold from a version released in April, but the value was kept at $50 billion, as some high-value items such as commercial aircraft were deleted.
"I have an excellent relationship with President Xi, and we will continue working together on many issues", Trump said. "Let's be clear: It's the most predatory economic government that operates against the rest of the world today".
However and unfortunately, China has determined that it will raise tariffs on $50 billion worth of United States exports.
China has hiked its list of USA goods on which it said it would slap tariffs six-fold from a version released in April, but the value was kept at $50 billion, as some high-value items such as commercial aircraft were deleted.