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Navarro's comments underscore the frequent shifts in the Trump administration's position on China - which the president has both praised and denigrated since before he took office previous year - and come shortly before US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross departs for Beijing for a third round of high-level talks aimed at defusing the trade dispute.

A final list of the imports subject to the tariffs will be released June 15 and the investment restrictions will be announced on June 30.

Hitting back at the Trump administration's threat to impose a 25 per cent tariff on $50 billion goods imported from China, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, "In global relations, every flip-flop and U-turn by a country will undermine and hurt its own credibility".

That deal was separate from the US investigation into China's alleged theft of intellectual property.

The two sides had agreed earlier this month to look at steps to narrow China's $375-billion trade surplus with the United States.

Trump's Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin had said the trade war was "on hold".

China welcomes imports of "high-quality and competitive" American products, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement, following promises to buy more American farm goods and energy.

"Punitive tariffs are always a last resort, but if Beijing is unable or unwilling to stop intellectual property theft and other unfair trade practices that cost American workers jobs and American businesses hundreds of billions of dollars every year, tariffs are the best leverage we have". According to China this decision announced by the U.S. contradicts the decisions made between two in a meeting held in Washington.

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Her company, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, already holds more than a dozen trademarks in China and has multiple applications pending, CREW said.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is expected to return to Beijing on Saturday for continued discussions. In addition, the U.S. will continue efforts to protect domestic technology and intellectual property, stop noneconomic transfers of industrially significant technology and intellectual property to China, and enhance access to the Chinese market, the White House said. The status of the agreement is unclear now that United States tariffs look set to go forward. His government watchdog group was behind one of several lawsuits against President Donald Trump for violations of the emoluments clause of the constitution, which bars officials from accepting gifts from foreign states unless they are approved by Congress.

The decision, which was announced after a state council meeting led by Premier Li Keqiang, aims to further open China's consumer market, will force its industries to upgrade and boost competitiveness, the government said in a statement. "We are very surprised by the White House statement".

The White House said the planned sanctions announced in March, largely focused on China's theft of American intellectual property, were still in the works and details would be announced in the coming month.

Trump also said a deal to ease sanctions on the Chinese tech giant ZTE would be forthcoming.

"We lost the trade war long ago".

The tariff threat could still disrupt Ross's China talks.

The US will move forward with a complaint against China at the World Trade Organization.