Tariffs on $34 billion of USA goods including agricultural products such as soybeans will take effect from July 6, the ministry said.
The United States has almost completed a second list of tariffs on $100 billion in Chinese goods, as President Donald Trump prepares to enact an initial round of duties that is expected to trigger an in-kind response from Beijing, several sources said.
Beijing will impose tariffs on 545 USA items worth $34 billion - including agricultural products, automobiles and seafood - starting on July 6.
Barely 24 hours after the USA hit China with new tariffs on imports, Beijing fired a return salvo Saturday in a growing trade dispute with President Donald Trump by imposing duties on a $34 billion list of US goods ranging from soybeans to whiskey to cigars. If the United States hits China with tariffs, China will immediately retaliate with tariffs, said a Chinese official. The second set, worth about around $16 billion, will undergo further review, including a public hearing.
It includes a list of products which USTR argues have benefited from Chinese industrial policies, including the Made in China 2025 policy.
In Beijing on Friday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang repeated earlier warnings that all trade talks between China and the United States would be void if Washington imposed trade sanctions. And considering how important trade deficits are to the president, there is always a chance that he could suddenly demand more reductions in that deficit as a part of any deal.
Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments, called the tariffs "a significant escalation of the trade war" and warned that there were four primary outcomes from the increasing tensions.More news: England seek World Cup exorcism
Some analysts see a strategic move to target goods in marginal U.S. states that are home to President Donald Trump's base.
"We will immediately introduce taxation measures of the same scale and with the same intensity", the country's commerce ministry said.
It's too early to tell which manufacturers will pass higher costs on to customers or seek cheaper suppliers outside China, should the tariffs take effect in three weeks' time. The Dow fell almost 200 points on Friday after the tariffs were announced.
"The United States can no longer tolerate losing our technology and intellectual property through unfair economic practices", Trump said in the statement. The Chinese government quickly vowed to respond in kind.
"China and the United States have conducted several rounds of consultations on economic and trade issues in an effort to resolve differences and achieve a win-win situation". They say those violate Chinese market-opening commitments under the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Trump imposed in March tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports, igniting a possible trade war.
Trump's tariffs were imposed in response to complaints that Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.