Trump ups ante on China, threatens duties on nearly all its imports

US President Donald Trump said he's ready to impose tariffs on an additional $267 billion in Chinese goods on short notice, on top of a proposed $200 billion that his administration is putting the final touches on.

But he told reporters travelling with him to Fargo, North Dakota that "behind that, there's another US$267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want".

The Trump administration hopes to curtail the theft of USA technology and intellectual property by Beijing, which Navarro says is the catalyst behind China's economic growth.

Trump's threatened tariffs, now totalling $US517 billion in Chinese goods, would exceed the $US505 billion in goods imported from China a year ago.

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He previously had threatened to hit 100 per cent of imports from China if the country failed to address USA concerns over theft of U.S. technology and barriers to American goods and investments.

The two governments already have imposed penalty duties on $50 billion of each other's exports.

The moves would sharply escalate Trump's trade war with Beijing over his demands for major changes in economic, trade and technology policy. But 2018 imports from China through July were up almost 9 percent over the same period of 2017, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

This new round of tariffs would bring the total imports from China subject to tariffs to more than $500 billion, or close to the total amount of goods that China exports to the U.S. Comparatively few applauded the tariffs. "These are taxes and they're going to find their way into the pocket book of folks around the country", French said.

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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow just hours before said talks with Beijing were continuing to try to defuse the conflict, and that he was hopeful that a solution could be found.

"We will evaluate the comments and we will make a decision", Kudlow said, suggesting it could be some time before the fresh import charges will be levied. Among the equipment hit were a number of components and devices used by United States tech firms, including chips and networking gear produced in Chinese factories.

On Thursday, Cisco Systems Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. and other technology companies sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging the administration to avoid imposing more tariffs.

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