The Trump administration has deepened its trade war with China by announcing a new round of tariffs worth $US16 billion ($22 billion), a move the Chinese government has warned will trigger another round of retaliatory tariffs on USA exports.
The US levied 25% duties on $34 billion in Chinese goods on 6 July, prompting swift in-kind retaliation from Beijing.
The Semiconductor Industry Association said in a statement that tariffs imposed on semiconductors imported from China will hurt American chipmakers rather than Chinese firms.
A list published by the U.S. Trade Representative's office indicated 279 import product lines for tariffs.
Year-on-year, the growth of China's exports to the USA slowed to 11 percent last month from 12.5 percent in June, while import growth accelerated to 11 percent from 9 percent.
The fresh tariffs will apply to 279 items.
"There is no off-ramp, and Trump has given China little wiggle room to save face and come to the bargaining table", he said. Beijing is expected to hit $16 billion worth of USA goods with equal tariffs in response to Tuesday's move.
In July the surplus with the United States was at $28.09 billion, down a touch from $28.93 billion in June, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data released on Wednesday.More news: Trump attacks report that he’s anxious about son’s exposure to Mueller inquiry
A first tranche of tariffs, on $34bn worth of goods, went into effect in July. Washington has long criticized China's trade surplus with the United States and has demanded Beijing cut it.
In a statement on its official website late on Wednesday, China's commerce ministry criticized the USA move as being "unreasonable", saying it had no choice but to adopt the same measure on an equal amount of American goods ranging from oil and steel products to autos and medical equipment.
The trade balance between the two countries, which is at the center of the tariffs tussle, continued to be in favor of China.
April 4: China rolls out a listof more than 100 U.S. goods worth roughly $50 billion that are subject to retaliatory tariffs.
May 29: The White House announces the tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goodswill move forward, with the final list of goods released June 15. Chinese data on Wednesday showed exports to the United States rose 13.3% in July to $41.5 billion against a year ago.
China has not yet given a date for its previously announced retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion in USA goods, which will target commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products.
The 25 percent tariffs will go into effect August 23, targeting cars, crude oil, natural gas and coal.