Chinese and U.S. flags are set up for a signing ceremony during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at China's Ministry of Transport in Beijing, China April 27, 2018.
Trade tensions between the United States and China have been intensifying over recent months with each country imposing levies on mutual imports with extra duties.
China's payback presents its own challenges.
The United States and China trade goods and services worth about $650 billion each year, the largest trading relationship in the world between two countries.
China's goods trade went up 8.6 percent year on year to 16.72 trillion yuan (about 2.45 trillion USA dollars) in the first seven months of this year, customs data showed Wednesday.
Analysts from Oxford Economics have predicted that China's GDP growth may slow to 6.4 per cent this year, from 6.9 per cent in 2017, as the effects of the trade war weigh.
Still, disagreements between the two major economic powers run deeper than just the trade balance and tensions remain over market access, intellectual property, technology transfer and investment.
The latest charge comes after the USA said it would implement another round of tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods.
Falling within a list of $16 billion worth of traded items, the USTR pushed live its finalised tariff list on Tuesday, having tentatively published a 284 category proposal back in June.
For its part, China has threatened to ratchet up the tit-for-tat trade war by slapping tariffs on another $60bn of American imports. It would likely have to impose penalties on USA companies doing business in China to make up the difference.
"Although this may for a moment bring preening with delight, it will make it hard to resolve economic imbalances or out of kilter politics and other deep-rooted problems".
President Donald Trump has suggested he may tax effectively all imports of Chinese goods, which reached more than US$500 billion a year ago.
Beijing has called on United States officials to be "cool headed", but has warned it will retaliate against any tariffs with its own measures.