After the White House announced it would impose the tariffs on China beginning on July 6, Beijing immediately retaliated and said it would put penalties on $50 billion worth of United States goods like beef, poultry, tobacco and cars.
This person also said Ross had said the list would take aim at products for which China supplied 33 percent or less of total USA imports in individual product categories, making it easier to shift to other countries' supplies.
With Congressional elections in November, and the Republican majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate potentially at risk, Mr Trump has to walk a fine line between bolstering his get-tough/can-do image and provoking escalated tit-for-tat tariffs that could damage the USA economy or alienate free-traders in his own party.
The official declined to comment on China's recent offer to purchase an additional $70 billion worth of American farm and energy commodities and manufactured goods.
The second tranche of products will undergo further review. The Chinese haven't issued a list but have stated it would be an identical 25% on $50 billion of American exports. None of the items directly relate to the import of smartphones, tablets and smartwatches from China. This left 818 lines valued at $34 billion. Thanks to rising oil prices, US crude sales rose by $1.2 billion in the first four months of 2018, compared with the same period a year earlier, census figures show.
Although talks between Beijing and Washington have ground to a halt, US President Donald Trump insisted he was still open to negotiation.
"My great friendship with President Xi [Jinping] of China and our country's relationship with China are both very important to me", said Trump.
"An escalating global trade dispute or widespread rises in import tariffs would have a marked negative impact on Germany's export oriented economy", it said.
"This situation is no longer sustainable", Trump said.
In a statement, the Trump Administration said the tariffs would be levied on goods that "contain industrially significant technologies", and warned that it would consider further levies if China retaliates. "We will be outlining our concerns with the USTR about how these new tariffs will jeopardize this industry".
However, Trump said in a statement that "additional tariffs" could be levied should China hit back with tit-for-tat duties on USA goods and services exports. "It seriously violates the legitimate rights and interests of our country", the statement reads in part, "and damages the interests of our country and people". They are the ones hurting us, and they hurt everybody.
With the the US and China exchanging volleys, analysts said the trade fight is likely to continue for months, with little prospect of an agreement before the midterm elections in November.
She added, "The trade skirmish is not just about the trade deficit and exchange rates, but about the rules of the game, market openness and intellectual property". It would also expand the list of telco equipment to include low-voltage "Insulated electric conductors of a kind used for telecommunications".
Yesterday, China said it would not honor its pledge to increase purchases of USA goods if tariffs were imposed. "We hope the USA side can also make the same wise choice".
"The Chinese side firmly opposes that", the statement said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.