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The announcement is the latest round in a tit-for-tat trade conflict between the world's two largest economies which has left global markets on edge.

Beijing has announced plans to retaliate immediately against the latest round of United States tariffs on Chinese imports by slapping a wide range of American products, worth $16 billion, with a 25 percent levy.

The US decision to levy 25 per cent tariffs on the same value of Chinese goods is "very unreasonable", and China will have to retaliate to protect its rightful interests and the multilateral trading system, China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

The latest tariff salvos stem from Trump's complaint that China is unfairly acquiring American technology via coercive joint ventures with USA companies, cybertheft and other violations of intellectual property rights. Washington applied a 25% tariff on Chinese imports including airplane tires and various industrial parts.

The Office United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced the tariffs in a statement released on Tuesday afternoon US time.

"This second tranche of additional tariffs under Section 301 follows the first tranche of tariffs on approximately $34 billion of imports from China, which went into effect on July 6", it added.

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"Under the threat of tariffs, the U.S.is benching businesses and encouraging the Chinese to import goods from America's foreign competitors", Chandler said.

Among the products removed from the earlier list on $16 billion of imports were shipping containers, including those used by freight companies.

Mr Trump has said he would be willing to hit all of China's imports with duties.

The investigation had revealed that China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from United States companies and it deprives U.S. companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations. After Liu visited Washington later that month, the nations released a joint statement pledging to reduce the USA trade deficit with China, among other things.

Administration officials believe that the $505 billion Americans spend on Chinese products each year gives them leverage over China.

According to a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Washington-fueled trade tensions with other economies have prompted nearly a fifth of U.S. businesses including about 30 percent of manufacturers to review their capital spending plans.


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