President Donald Trump has approved a plan to impose a 25 percent tariff on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods.
"In light of China's theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices, the United States will implement a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods from China that contain industrially significant technologies," Trump said in a statement.
"This includes goods related to China's Made in China 2025 strategic plan to dominate the emerging high-technology industries that will drive future economic growth for China, but hurt economic growth for the United States and many other countries."
China vows to retaliate
Starting in July, roughly 1,100 exports will be subject to tariffs.
Chinese products that are subject to new tariffs include a range of industrial goods, including construction machinery, raw materials, agricultural equipment, and consumer items including electronics and medical devices, according to the US Trade Representative's (USTR) office.
China said that it would retaliate immediately against any tariffs and that the United States had "launched a trade war."
"If the United States takes unilateral, protectionist measures, harming China's interests, we will quickly react and take necessary steps to resolutely protect our fair, legitimate rights," a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, told a regular daily news briefing, according to the Associated Press.
President Trump warned that if China retaliates against the U.S. with new tariffs of its own, the U.S. “will pursue additional tariffs” against China. He added that the penalty is designed to punish China for stealing American intellectual property and technology.
Trade between the two countries "has been very unfair, for a very long time," Trump said. "This situation is no longer sustainable."
“This is an EXCELLENT move by @realDonaldTrump most of these technology products from #China are made from technology stolen from U.S. companies. They steal over $300 billion worth of technology a year. So these aren’t tariffs they are a #TheftTax,” Senator Marco Rubio tweeted.
The new tariffs will go into effect July 6.