Aug. 23 (UPI) -- New U.S. sanctions against China took effect Thursday, and Beijing retaliated immediately by imposing similar penalties on products from the United States.
The U.S. government slapped tariffs of 25 percent on another $16 billion worth of Chinese goods Thursday, which affects nearly 300 Chinese products, including chemical products, motorcycles and other automotive parts.
As soon as the tariffs were imposed, China hit back with a quarter-percent tax on U.S. exports like chemical products and diesel fuel.
"China has no alternative but to take countermeasures," Beijing's Commerce Ministry said, adding that the latest U.S. duties violated World Trade Organization rules.
Since the United States imposed $34 billion in tariffs against China last month, the latest round completes President Donald Trump's target of taxing $50 billion worth of Chinese products.
Similarly, China has imposed a sum total of $50 billion on U.S. goods, in what might be only the first round of fiscal penalties in the ongoing trade war.
The Trump administration has threatened more tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Beijing said it would respond by hitting $60 billion in American goods.
Next week, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen's will visit Washington, D.C., and meet with administration officials to discuss the trade dispute.
Trump launched the initial tariffs to punish China for what he says are unfair, and in some cases illegal, practices.