Trump's latest move, as the US fights trade battles on several fronts, was unexpectedly swift and sharp. It was retaliation, he said, for China's decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion in US goods, which came after Trump announced similar tariffs on Chinese goods on Friday, Reuters reported.
"After the legal process is complete, these tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced," Trump said in a statement on Monday.
The comments sent global stock markets skidding and weakened both the dollar and the Chinese yuan on Tuesday. Shanghai stocks plunged to two-year lows.
China's Commerce Ministry said Beijing will fight back with "qualitative" and "quantitative" measures if the United States publishes an additional list of tariffs on Chinese goods.
"Such a practice of extreme pressure and blackmailing deviates from the consensus reached by both sides on multiple occasions," the ministry said in a statement.
"The United States has initiated a trade war and violated market regulations, and is harming the interests of not just the people of China and the US, but of the world."
US business groups said members were bracing for a backlash from the Chinese government that would affect all American firms in China, not just in sectors facing tariffs.
Jacob Parker, vice president of China operations at the US-China Business Council in Beijing, said Beijing is meeting with Chinese businesses to discuss shifting contracts for US goods and services to suppliers from Europe or Japan, or to local Chinese firms.
Washington and Beijing appeared increasingly headed toward open trade conflict after several rounds of talks failed to resolve US complaints over Chinese industrial policies, lack of market access in China and a $375 billion US trade deficit.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said his office was preparing the proposed tariffs and they would undergo a similar legal process as previous ones, which were subject to a public comment period, a public hearing and some revisions. He did not say when the new target list would be unveiled.
On Friday, Trump said he was pushing ahead with a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese products, prompting Beijing to respond in kind.
Some of those tariffs will be applied from July 6, while the White House is expected to announce restrictions on investments by Chinese companies in the United States by June 30.
Trump said if China increases its tariffs again in response to the latest US move, "we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods."
He said, "the United States will no longer be taken advantage of on trade by China and other countries in the world."