USA to impose extra tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports

US stocks fell on the news but were not hit almost as hard as in Shanghai, where shares closed 1.78 percent lower and the yuan weakening toward last week's 11-month lows.

The foreign ministry described Washington's threats as "typical bullying" and said China needed to counter-attack to protect its interests.

"It is totally unacceptable for American side to publish a tariff list in a way that is accelerating and escalating", said a Commerce Ministry statement. But duties on more than US$200 billion in Chinese imports may push the trade war into territory where it begins to bite meaningfully into growth.

Last Friday, the United States imposed 25% tariffs on Chinese imports worth $34bn (£25bn).

More than 6,000 items could be affected - including burglar alarms, vehicle tyres, handbags, baseball gloves, carpets, toilet paper, dog food, and hundreds of food products. Beijing immediately responded with its own tariffs on U.S. goods worth $34 billion. "There is no justification for such action", he said in a statement. "Consumers, businesses and the American jobs dependent on trade, are left in the crosshairs of an escalating global trade war".

The dramatic move by Trump sent a shockwave through Asian markets last night, with the Shanghai Composite index dropping 2.1 per cent and the CSI300 index of major Shanghai and Shenzhen stocks tumbling 2 per cent.

FILE PHOTO: A worker helps load steel bars onto a truck at warehouse of the Baifeng Iron and Steel Corporation in Tangshan, Hebei province, China August 3, 2015.

The S&P 500 and Dow futures dropped 1%, indicating Wall Street would open lower, while Japan's Nikkei declined 1.5%.

The US has announced its plans to impose taxes on a further $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, in retaliation for China's retaliation to America's first round of tariffs.

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The list names more than 6,000 items including food products, minerals and consumer goods such as handbags.

Tuesday's action makes good on a threat President Donald Trump made last month.

Some US business groups and senior lawmakers were quick to criticise the move.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, responded to Lighthizer's announcement with dismay. The U-S Chamber of Commerce says the proposed measure would ultimately hurt American families.

"This is an appropriate response under the authority of Section 301 to obtain the elimination of China's harmful industrial policies".

The earliest they would come into effect is September.

China slammed the USA threat to expand tariff hikes to imports including apples, fish sticks and French doors as a "totally unacceptable" escalation of their trade battle on Wednesday and vowed to protect its "core interests".

World stocks fell and the dollar rose Wednesday after Washington threatened to hammer Beijing with tariffs on a further $200 billion of Chinese imports, ratcheting up the global trade war.

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