-China trade tariff talks, President Donald Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro is disputing the words of his less protectionist colleague, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
An American business group called on Beijing on Wednesday to allow the same access to its state-dominated economy that China's companies have to USA markets after Washington revved up a simmering trade dispute with a surprise announcement of plans to go ahead with a tariff hike.
The comments came after the U.S. said on Tuesday that it might go ahead with tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods unless Beijing addresses the issue of theft of USA intellectual property.
"From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal", said Mr Trump in a statement released with the fact-sheet.
Analysts said the United States move may be an attempt to gain leverage ahead of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's visit to China later this week for talks.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) said earlier this month that if imposed, the tariffs would cause "collateral damage" to US manufacturers because many vendors either produce their own products in China or source finished goods and components from contractual partners in China.
A list of potential tariff targets has already been published by the United States trade representative, which mainly includes intermediate goods used by companies to make other products as well as some consumer goods such as televisions.
It said technology transfers between US companies and their Chinese partners were the result of normal business practices, not coercive policies.
"We're putting the trade war on hold", Mnuchin said at the close of those meetings on May 20.
The NRF cited a study which estimated the tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports could shave $3 billion off of US GDP and eliminate 134,000 jobs.
The Trump administration said Tuesday that it plans to shorten the length of validity of some visas issued to Chinese citizens as part of a push to counter alleged theft of US intellectual property by Beijing. The merry little trade war with China appears to be back on, as the White House announced tariffs on a broad range of imports. The last round of talks concluded on May 19 with the countries announcing little progress toward resolving a long list of complaints the American negotiators had previously identified.
"For instance the United States charges a 2.5 percent tariff on Chinese cars, while China now maintains a 25 percent tariff on cars from the United States", the White House said.
The commerce ministry said earlier Wednesday that Beijing "has the confidence, capability and experience to defend the interests of Chinese people and the core interests of the country" - no matter what measures the USA plans to take.
"China's attitude, as always, is: we do not want to fight, but we are also not afraid to fight", it said in a commentary.
Last week, the U.S. Commerce Department told lawmakers it was ending an earlier push to ban Chinese phone giant ZTE.