Beijing's plans for tariffs on $60 billion of USA goods includes an additional 5 percent in duty on about 600 kinds of us products, including planes and computers; another 10 percent on nearly 1,000 products, including wigs and textiles; an extra 20 percent on more than 1,000 items, including some chemicals, cookers and paper; and an additional 25 percent on over 2,400 products such as meat, wheat, wine and liquefied natural gas.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, Trump said the USA market was "stronger than ever", while the Chinese market "has dropped 27 per cent in last 4 months, and they are talking to us".
But China exports far more to the United States than the other way round, making it more challenging for the country to hit back against USA tariffs. Last year, China imported about $130 billion of US goods.
Days later, Washington unveiled a list of another US$200 billion in Chinese goods, from areas as varied as electrical machinery, leather goods and seafood, that would be hit with 10 per cent import duties.
July 16: China filed another complaint to the WTO over Trump's $200 billion tariff plan.
The US trade deficit recorded its biggest increase in more than 1-1/2 years in June as the boost to exports from soybean shipments faded and higher oil prices lifted the import bill.
Trump's senior advisers, particularly White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have said the White House's ultimate goal is to remove tariffs and trade barriers in a way that makes "free and fair trade", but Trump's message on Saturday evening was one of protectionism and economic restrictions, not open markets.
We had gone far toward creating a Trans-Pacific Partnership before Trump pulled out of it, and the other countries in those talks are moving forward without us.
The US and China: poles apart?
The United States and China have the world's biggest trading relationship but official ties are increasingly strained over complaints that Beijing's technology development tactics hurt American companies.
U.S. agricultural producers in particular are feeling the sting of the trade war.
The WSJ also cites "industry officials who have discussed the move with the White House" and who said that another, perhaps far more important reason for the tariff increase "is to compensate for the decline in the value of the yuan by about 6% over the past two months".
Therefore, the USA needs to continue escalating tariffs against China in order to secure concessions.
A lot of Republicans in Congress will tell you that they support President Donald Trump but disagree with him about trade. "Those are the things that concern us the most".
China has already retaliated against some of these measures.
"Every country on earth wants to take wealth out of the USA, always to our detriment", Trump tweeted, "I say, as they come, Tax them".
The irresolvable nature of these positions means that whatever talks, negotiations and manoeuvres may take place, the objective logic of events is towards intensification of the trade war and ultimately military conflict.