"This is a very unreasonable practice", the Chinese commerce ministry said on Wednesday.
Bags of chemicals being unloaded at a port in Zhangjiagang in China's eastern Jiangsu province on August 7, 2018. Beijing can't match that dollar-for-dollar because it imports significantly fewer American products than the U.S. does from China.
After months of skirmishing between the two economic powers, USA customs officers began collecting the first tariffs from importers of Chinese products on July 6.
US President Donald Trump has boasted that trade wars are "easy to win" and warned he would hit virtually all Chinese imports if Beijing does not back down and take steps to reduce its $335 billion surplus with the US.
So far, financial markets have shrugged off the first round of trade duties. China responded by promising to hit $60 billion worth of United States goods coming into the country with tariffs.
The weak figures come as Beijing has been trying to encourage domestic consumption, with measures such as lowering tariffs for consumer goods, as part of its strategy to deal with the mounting pressure from the trade war, which is set to crimp the country's exports, traditionally one of the main drivers of growth.
The US will impose 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion (€13.7 billion) worth of Chinese imports, in addition to the tariffs already in place, the Trump administration announced on Tuesday.
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A spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative's office could not immediately be reached for comment on China's retaliation announcement or whether this would trigger Trump's next round of threatened tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
The world's two biggest economies are locked in a trade dispute.
The worry is that the escalating Sino-U.S. trade war, rising corporate bankruptcies, and a steep decline in the value of the yuan versus the dollar could put a significant dent on the economy.
The government has responded by releasing more liquidity into the banking system, encouraging lending and promising a more "active" fiscal policy. But it was 11 percent higher than in the same month past year. Its imports from the US rose 11.8 percent in the same period.
May 19: After a meeting, the two countriesannounce the outline of a trade dealto avoid the tariffs.
GM already imports two models from China into the US and Ford will soon import the Focus, and both export significant volume from the U.S.to China.
The country's trade with major trading partners saw an increase during the January-July period. The additional tariffs will go into effect on August 23.