President Donald Trump announced Friday that Washington has approved to impose tariffs worth $50 billion on China that was initially announced in April, a move that escalates trade tensions between the world's two largest economies.
The U.S. will implement a 25-percent tariff on goods worth $50 billion from China that "contain industrially significant technologies," according to a statement by the White House.
The new tariffs come "in light of China’s theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices," it added.
The administration, in addition, could impose additional tariffs if China engages in retaliatory measures, the White House said.
Those could come if China would impose new tariffs on U.S. goods, services, agricultural products, or raise non-tariff barriers, and take actions against American or companies operating in China, according to the statement.
After the announcement, the U.S. stock market opened with heavy losses on Friday. The Dow Jones was down more than 200 points, or 0.8 percent, at 1500 GMT.
Trump imposed in March tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports, igniting a possible trade war. In return, China said it will impose $3 billion worth of tariffs between 15 to 25 percent on 128 American goods.
In April, Washington said it will impose 25 percent tariffs on 1,300 Chinese goods that are worth $50 billion. Beijing immediately said it will place 25 percent tariffs on 106 American goods worth $50 billion.
The U.S.' trade deficit with China was $347 billion in 2016.