The Office of the US Trade Representative is seeking submissions on the latest proposed tariffs and will conduct hearings in late August, making September the earliest possible implementation date for the new import taxes. "Given China's likelihood of retaliation, it's also billions worth of new tariffs on American exporters". Another source who is familiar with the situation confirmed the Bloomberg report to Reuters.
Trump last week said the United States may ultimately impose tariffs on more than US$500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of USA imports from China previous year.
China's retaliation to those measures was "without any global legal basis or justification", Lighthizer said Tuesday.
"For over a year, the Trump Administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition", he said in a statement.
The president has repeatedly described his resort to tariffs - which are paid by American importers - as a lever to extract negotiating concessions from USA trading partners.
"China is forced to strike back to safeguard core national interests and the interests of its people", the Commerce Ministry said in a statement to CNN last week.
Beijing has vowed to respond in kind to any US trade action. Industry groups have also highlighted the duties' potential to derail US economic growth. Since then, the president has said his administration could impose duties on virtually all Chinese imports into the US.
The White House has complained that China has used predatory practices in a relentless push to grant Chinese companies an unfair advantage in the industries of the future, including robotics, electric cars and biopharmaceuticals.
Chinese officials also encouraged businesses to reduce their reliance on US goods, urging them to shift orders for products such as soybeans and automobiles to suppliers in China or countries other than the United States.
Harborn said a European supplier of environmental technology believed it might have been awarded a Chinese government contract ahead of an American competitor due to its non-US status.