While the announcements eased worries about the possibility of a trade war between world's two largest economies, U.S. President Donald Trump also said last week that any deal between Washington and Beijing would need "a different structure", fueling uncertainty over the talks.
The United States is also preparing to implement investment restrictions and export controls meant to restrict access of Chinese people and companies to American technology.
"For many years, China has pursued industrial policies and unfair trade practices-including dumping, discriminator non-tariff barriers, forced technology transfer, over capacity, and industrial subsidies-that champion Chinese firms and make it impossible for many U.S. firms to compete on a level playing field", said the White House. The duties, the statement said, will be imposed "shortly thereafter". The United States had wanted China's trade surplus with America to shrink by $200 billion in two years, a figure seen as fanciful by most economists and trade experts.
The Donald Trump administration stated that it would crack down on "illegal" Chinese trade practices by June 30.
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China has no reason to address issues brought up by the United States if the government's priorities appear to be constantly in flux, said Eric Altbach, senior vice president at Albright Stonebridge Group and former deputy assistant USA trade representative for China under President Barack Obama.
In addition to affecting Chinese companies that export products into the USA, the tariffs could also affect multinational OEMs that have shifted their manufacturing to China to take advantage of lower labor costs.
The trade-related actions were announced following a report by the Office of the US Trade Representative regarding China's practices with respect to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation. "We [should] hold innovative development tightly in our own hands", he said.
The renewed threat of tariffs comes ahead of commerce secretary Wilbur Ross's visit to Beijing this week when he will try to get China's agreement to firm numbers for additional United States exports to the country.
It will also continue to pursue a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement against China originally initiated in March to address its discriminatory technology licensing requirements.
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But on Tuesday evening it said that sanctions announced in March - largely focused on China's theft of USA intellectual property - were still in the works and details would be announced in the coming month.
The deal to reduce China's trade surplus with the US was separate from the USA probe into China's alleged theft of intellectual property. However, the big risk is that Beijing won't have any confidence in Ross to make a deal that Trump will accept. Ross will have less than two weeks to solve the knotty issue of trade before the tariffs get officially imposed, so there's not much room for error.
The White House issued a second statement listing the details of many complaints against China, including dumping of goods into the U.S. market at below market value, high tariffs and overcapacity - likely referring to steel and aluminum, which are subject to another set of harsh U.S. tariffs. "As the United States and China prepare for another round of negotiations, we hope the administration has clearly defined objectives and concrete solutions to resolve this trade dispute without tariffs".
The White House said China's industrial policies continued to be damaging to businesses both in the USA and around the world, and claimed that this year alone it had found "dumping or unfair subsidies on 13 different products".
Mr. Trump has often talked about challenging what he has described as China's unfair trade practices, but his advisers are deeply divided over the best course for doing so.
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Likewise, the USA will request that China remove all of its many trade barriers, including non-monetary trade barriers, which make it both hard and unfair to do business there, it said.