US President Donald Trump signs trade sanctions against China on March 22, 2018, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, DC Photograph:( AFP )
The tariff aimed against Chinese goods are retaliation against alleged theft of American intellectual property, the White House said.
President Trump today officially announced the imposition of tariffs worth $50 billion on Chinese imports.
Trump also signed the order that will look at restrictions on Chinese investment in the US.
"We have a tremendous intellectual property theft situation going on," Trump said.
However, the products subject to the new tariffs have not yet been identified.
During his speech, Trump said," I view China as a friend."
Trump will direct US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to identify publish a proposed list of products that could be subject to tariffs.
He will also direct Lighthizer to take action against China at the World Trade Organization(WTO), charging Beijing with preventing US companies from licensing their technology in China.
The measure also directs the US Treasury to develop new proposals to increase safeguards on investments that could compromise US national security.
Earlier, the White House had announced that President Trump will impose $50 billion tariffs on Chinese goods in retaliation against alleged theft of American intellectual property.
The new import duties will target industrial sectors where "China has sought to acquire an advantage through the unfair acquisition or forced technology transfer from US companies," senior White House economic advisor Everett Eissenstat told reporters.
Wall Street's selloff accelerated in the wake of the announcement with major indices falling as much as two per cent ahead of the White House trade actions targeting China.
The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 1.8 per cent to 2,710.69, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 1.9 per cent to 7,204.06.