In early July, the United States imposed 25 per cent tariffs on an initial $34 billion of Chinese goods.
"The president is going to continue to hold China responsible for their unfair trade practices", said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Still, the administration's threats represent a significant escalation of trade tensions with China.
"We said before that this round of tariffs amounted to doubling down on the recklessness of imposing trade policy that will hurt USA families and workers more than they will hurt China", said Matthew Shay, president of the National Retail Federation.
A second round of tariffs on products worth $16 billion could take effect as soon as this week.
Officials, however, downplayed suggestions the move was meant to compensate for the recent decline in the value of the Chinese currency, which has threatened to take much of the sting out of Trump's tariffs by making imports cheaper.
China is trying to seek an "equal" position in future talks with the USA with today's retaliation announcement, said Gai Xinzhe, analyst at the Bank of China's Institute of International Finance in Beijing.
The US equity index is up by more than 5 per cent since the start of 2018, and 25 per cent since the start of 2017, while China's Shanghai composite index has fallen by 13 percent and 7 per cent respectively.
Investors fear an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing could hit global growth, and prominent USA business groups, while tired of what they see as China's mercantilist trade practices, have condemned Trump's aggressive tariffs.
China's imports from the United States previous year totalled $153.9 billion.
But the move drew swift condemnation from USA business lobby groups anxious that tit-for-tat tariffs would start to hamper economic growth.
Oil Price.com, an industry site, reports that China said on Wednesday that it would respond with quick retaliation if the USA moves forward with higher tariffs.
But President Donald Trump now wants U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider more than doubling those tariffs to 25 percent.
In Beijing Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday that "blackmail and pressure from the USA side will never work on China".
Increasing the rates to 25 percent could make them significantly more painful.
"The money comes after farmers, especially soybean growers, have felt the brunt of retaliatory tariffs placed on agriculture by China and other nations that the Trump administration has penalized with tariffs on imports", NPR's Brian Naylor reported. "The cost increases will be passed on to customers, so it will affect most Americans' pocketbooks".
China warned the United States on Thursday that upping the ante in a tit-for-tat trade war will "only serve to disappoint" the world as Washington threatened to raise the tariff rate on the next $200 billion of Chinese imports.