Trump said the US will raise tariffs from 25% to 30% on $250 billion in goods that are already being taxed starting October 1.
“China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product (politically motivated!),” Trump said on Twitter.
The intensifying fight unnerved investors, sending the Dow dropping more than 700 points at its worst, closing down 2.4%, or 623 points.
The US Trade Representative Office, which acts as the country’s top trade negotiator, said it would “begin the process of increasing the tariff rate to 30% effective October 1 following a notice and comment period.”
“We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them,” Trump tweeted. “Our great companies are ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME.”
China trade experts said the moves will only deepen the impasse between Washington and Beijing.
“Everyone knew this was coming,” said Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council. “There was no doubt this was coming. The response to it is surprising and disappointing. “
Trump again attacked Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell over interest rates, which Trump insists are too high even after a rate cut last month.
“My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?” the president tweeted referring to Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
CNN’s Anneken Tappe contributed to this report.