The duties are part of a broader round of tariffs on $50bn worth of goods the United States announced in March.
China in turn retaliated by proposing tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods, with the extra levies ranging from 5 to 25 percent.
The 25 percent tariffs also will apply to a broad range of Chinese electronics, plastics, chemicals and railway equipment that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has said benefit from the "Made in China 2025" industrial plan, aimed at making China competitive in high-technology industries.
China's surplus with the United States shrank marginally to $28.09 billion last month from a record $28.97 billion in June. China has vowed to retaliate to an equal degree.
The Trump administration announced today that it would impose 25 per cent tariffs on imports of 279 items from China amounting to Dollars 16 billion. However, analysts still expect a less favourable trade balance for China in coming months given it's early days in the tariff brawl.
The administration is readying tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional $200 billion in Chinese products.
Although the move was expected, it cements the view that there appears to be no effort underway to defuse the dispute between the world's two largest economies.
The government has responded by releasing more liquidity into the banking system, encouraging lending and promising a more "active" fiscal policy.
Front page commentary published across all state newspapers by the official Xinhua news agency said: "Certain people go against the tide for their own private ends and go against morality; the barrier of tariffs wantonly rise, and the stick of hegemony is raised all around".
Some U.S. industries have expressed disappointment at Tuesday's decision.
No date yet for the previously announced retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion in US goods, which will largely target commodities.
In March 2018, the USTR had released the findings of its "exhaustive" Section 301 investigation that found China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are "unreasonable and discriminatory and burden U.S. commerce".