President Trump says US tariffs have helped the nation bargain for fair trade, amid heightened tensions around the globe.
The higher import taxes will apply to more than 5000 items, marking the biggest round of U.S. tariffs so far.
The products spared included consumer electronics like smart watches and Bluetooth devices, child safety products such as high chairs, auto seats and play pens, and certain health-and-safety products such as bicycle helmets, the officials said.
"We are ready to negotiate and talk with China any time that they are ready for serious and substantive negotiations towards free trade, to reduce tariffs and non tariff barriers, to open markets and allow the most competitive economy in the world - ours - to export more and more goods and services to China", Kudlow said.
A 10 percent tariff will go into effect September 24, the president said in a statement, and increase to 25 percent on January 1, 2019.
In a pair of early morning tweets, Trump hailed his combative trade policy as a boon to American economic health and said the USA steel industry, which the White House has championed in new protectionist measures, was now "the talk of the world".
Trump said China had refused to change the unfair practices that hurt USA businesses and workers.
Trump will "immediately" pursue another $267 billion in tariffs if China retaliates.
Sohn said the Trump administration is pursuing a legitimate goal of getting China to stop violating worldwide trade rules but that it should have enlisted support from other trading partners, such as the European Union, Canada and Mexico, and presented Beijing with a united front.
This latest round of tariffs marks the third set put into motion so far this year.
Clearly the trade war will continue deep into 2019.
That means regular households may start to feel the impact. That could affect smaller technology firms such as Eero, a start-up company that makes home routers and had asked to be exempted from the tariffs.
Unlike the previous rounds of tariffs - which targeted industrial goods - this tranche will affect consumer products and could lead to price rises for items such as air conditioners, spark plugs, furniture and lamps.
The president said countries unwilling to participate in fair trade will be tariffed. But, the official said, they will exclude some consumer electronics such as smart watches and Bluetooth devices as well as health and safety products such as high chairs, bicycle helmets, child auto seats and playpens.
The changes come after fierce opposition from companies, including global tech giants such as Apple, Dell and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Officials said they wanted to shield consumer goods from the taxes as much as possible.