The US Treasury had suggested a fresh round of talks as the trade hostilities that began between the world's two largest economies more than two months ago ground on, a prospect welcomed by Beijing.
The tariffs announced Monday are scheduled to take effect on September 24 at 10%, and rise to 25% on January 1.
The increase is aimed at curbing "trade friction" and the "unilateralism and protectionism of the United States", the ministry said on its website. It appealed for "pragmatic dialogue" to "jointly safeguard the principle of free trade and the multilateral trading system".
The brief statement gave no details on China's plans, but Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing later that the USA steps had brought "new uncertainty" to talks between the two countries.
"Most of our member companies are "in China, for China" - selling goods to Chinese companies and consumers, not to Americans - and thus ultimately boosting the USA economy".
Forcing more favourable terms of trade on China has been a critical component of Mr. Trump's "America-first" politics. "The downward spiral that we have previously warned about now seems certain to materialize", said the chamber chairman, William Zarit, in a statement.More news: Hazard can be Premier League top-scorer, says Chelsea's Sarri
The Trump administration's threat to impose tariffs on more than US$500 billion worth of Chinese imports is likely to provoke outrage, not only from Beijing but closer to home. But Beijing has other ways to retaliate.
"The escalation" in the US-Chinese trade dispute "is very worrying", said Dieter Kempf, President of the German Industrial Federation (BDI), adding however that China must "take seriously the criticism of its partners". The cartoon points out that nine out of the top 10 soybean growing states voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
"Tensions in the global economic system have manifested themselves in the US-China trade war, which is now seriously disrupting global supply chains", the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Today's decision makes clear that the administration did not heed the numerous warnings from American consumers and businesses about rising costs and lost jobs on Main Street, in factories, and on farms and ranches across the country", Donohue said, lamenting that the USA government had turned a blind eye to the overwhelming opposition by businesses.
However, if Trump expands the tariffs to an additional $267 billion worth of goods then almost every Chinese import would be affected, including the iPhone, along with all other smart phones.
"They also know that I am the one that knows how to stop it", he said.
More than half of Chinese imports now face punitive taxes, so it's remarkable that the US still hasn't spelled out what it wants from Beijing.
But in a last-minute reprieve, he spared smart watches from Apple and other consumer products like bicycle helmets and baby auto seats from the tariffs.More news: Jessica Simpson Is Pregnant with Baby Number Three
"For months, we have urged China to change these unfair practices, and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies", Trump said.
Last month, China unveiled a proposed list of tariffs on US$60 billion of U.S. goods ranging from liquefied natural gas to certain types of aircraft - should Washington activate the tariffs on its US$200 billion list.
"If we're not right, we'll roll them back, " Trump is reported to have said. The tariffs will be kick in on September 24.
Included among the products removed from the proposed list, are frozen Alaska pollock fillets and frozen cod fillets. The administration is targeting a bewildering variety of goods - from sockeye salmon to baseball gloves to bamboo mats - forcing USA companies to scramble for suppliers outside China, absorb the import taxes or pass along the cost to their customers.
Trump said China had refused to change the unfair practices that hurt USA businesses and workers.
"Tariffs are a tax on American families", Quach said.
Wall Street bounced back on Tuesday, led by gains in consumer discretionary, technology and industrial stocks as investors shrugged off escalating trade rhetoric between the United States and China.More news: Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination process reflects the bitter partisanship of the age