Beijing has left the door open to negotiations, even as it matched Washington with tariffs and bellicose rhetoric.
For example, both Singapore and Chinese Hong Kong impose virtually no tariffs or trade restrictions on other countries, according to the WTO.
Women interact near a robot designed by Chinese robotics company Pangolin at the Consumer Electronics Show Asia 2018 in Shanghai, China on June 15, 2018. Trump has already said the United States would hit another $100 billion of Chinese imports if Beijing retaliated. The government will start to collect the tariffs July 6. "I think they will be talking again soon", he said.
For context, China exported about $505 billion in goods to the U.S.in 2017, so this hits about 10 percent of goods that come here from China.
Beijing will impose tariffs on 545 United States items worth $34 billion - including agricultural products, automobiles and seafood - starting on July 6.
The State Council said another 114 items will be subject to tariffs at a later date, the news agency said.
"Given China's big trade surplus with the USA, it will be more hard and complicated for China" in the future to retaliate if the Trump administration expands the tariffs to more products, said Li.
The tariffs will also be applied to autos and aquatic products, the ministry said. A further round of trade talks in Beijing earlier this month failed to yield any breakthroughs. The ruling Communist Party's main mouthpiece People's Daily lashed out at the USA for disregarding their bilateral consensus with its "obdurate" act.
"We haven't seen a rush, nor have any of our customers indicated that we need to get ready" for last-minute orders, said Steen Christensen, North America CEO for German freight-arrangements provider Hellmann Worldwide Logistics.
The administration has said it wants to aim its tariffs at industries identified in China's 2025 plan.
The US has said the punitive measures have been created to combat what it says is theft of its intellectual property.
Those restrictions are aimed at stopping China from developing its own hi-tech industry with technologies acquired from the U.S. - one of Washington's long-standing complaints.
Until recently, President Donald Trump's waving of the trade-war stick at China and various allies has generally elicited stock-market yawns.
"It is deeply regrettable that in disregard of the consensus between the two sides, the US has demonstrated flip-flops and ignited a trade war", the ministry said. Previously, China said it would impose retaliatory measures against US-based cars, plans, and agricultural products. In addition, sudden developments on global issues such as North Korea could prompt the United States to seek help from China.
"By imposing tariffs on consumer goods and key components of such goods, the president would needlessly take money out of Americans' pockets - harming the very people he hopes to help, not punishing China", said ITIC president and CEO Dean Garfield.
The 28 members of the European Union agreed Thursday that retaliatory tariffs would go into effect in the coming days.
But others were less optimistic.
In a Friday morning interview with Fox & Friends, Trump brushed off China's comments on a potential trade war.