The US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, filed a request for consultations with China at the WTO to address Beijing's discriminatory technology licensing requirements. "We are confident in our capability to face up to any challenge", the Commerce Ministry said.
On the economic front, the U.S. new orders for manufactured durable goods in February increased $7.4 billion, or 3.1 per cent, to $247.7 billion, the Commerce Department said on Friday.
In retaliation for the USA tariffs in steel and aluminum, China is considering levying an additional 15 percent tariff on US products including dried fruit, wine and steel pipes and an extra 25 percent duty on pork products and recycled aluminum.
The White House says the planned tariffs are aimed at punishing Beijing for allegedly stealing American technology and pressuring US companies to hand it over. "With some 350,000 tonnes of steel sold to the U.S. past year, 7% of our total exports, it is clear any tariffs would ultimately hit the sector hard", he added. There was no explanation of the difference between that figure and Trump's $60 billion.
Trump will decide whether to continue to exempt these countries from the tariffs by the extended deadline. This waiting periods will give industry lobbyists and United States lawmakers a chance to water down a proposed target list that runs to 1,300 products, many in technology sectors.
Wei Jianguo, a former vice commerce minister, said China already has a second and third list of possible tariffs ready.
In response, China is reportedly set to impose new a tariffs ranging from 15% to 25% on 128 different United States goods including fresh fruit, wine, modified ethanol, steel pipe, and more.
The new order saw a 25 percent tariff on imports of steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminium. The tariffs are effective Friday.
China's measures of concern include the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on the Administration of the Import and Export of Technologies and the Regulations for the Implementation of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Chinese-Foreign Equity Joint Ventures.
The ministry added that it would take the United States to the World Trade Organization, saying Washington "severely damaged the multilateral trade system". Several steel companies are now trading lower than they were before Mr. Trump announced the tariffs, after getting an initial lift from the news.
Missouri Governor Appoints Cindy Hyde-Smith to Fill Thad Cochran's Senate Seat
Cochran's resignation creates two Senate races this year in MS as Republicans are trying to maintain their slim Senate majority. With her election, Commissioner Hyde-Smith made MS history as the first woman to ever be elected to the statewide position.
Trump is planning to impose the tariffs over what his administration says is misappropriation of USA intellectual property.
"Our major worry is whether President Trump's tactical approach will spill over to the rest of the world", they wrote.
The government also criticized the use of the national security rationale and said it destabilizes global order.
As the following graphic shows, the frequency of Trump's tweets touting the stock market upswing increased towards the second half of 2017 as the S&P 500, a broad index of USA stock prices, hit a series of record highs.
The last 24 hours have seen a significant ratcheting up in trade tensions between the United States and China.
Chinese customs data show that in the first two months of this year, the surplus jumped 35% year-on year to $42.9 billion.
The threat of Chinese retaliation raised fears of a US-China trade war.
China has drawn a list of 128 USA products that could be hit with tariffs if the two countries are unable to reach an agreement on trade issues, the ministry said. The administration said the suspensions can be renewed or revoked then, "pending discussions of satisfactory long-term alternative means to address the threatened impairment to USA national security".
The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, a state-funded trade body, urged the two sides to settle their differences without resorting to open conflict.
If China wants to avoid US tariffs, it needs to start taking concrete action, the official said, adding that Washington has not given Beijing any to-do list to remedy trade ties.