Asked on Thursday whether China would target US-funded businesses in China to counter USA restrictions on Chinese products, Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said it was not part of Beijing's plan and, instead, China might compensate foreign businesses for losses from a trade war.
US officials and business owners have warned Trump that the tariffs will be a major hit to American companies.
The Commerce Ministry statement didn't provide details on its retaliation.
"But the country will encounter more barriers in future development, to which we should learn to adapt", it said.
As for the wider aspect, analysts expect this first round of tariffs won't do major immediate damage; however, a drawn-out battle could disrupt the global economy.
Trump has for years slammed what he describes as Beijing's underhand economic treatment of the United States, with the USA trade deficit in goods with China ballooning to a record US$375.2 billion last year.
Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday that the proposed USA tariffs would hit many American and foreign companies operating in China and disrupt their supplies of components and assembly work.
The rapid tit-for-tat follows weeks of anxious anticipation over the "trade remedies" President Trump vowed last month to implement. Bank of America estimated in its report that just over $100 billion worth of goods had been targeted, or about 4.2% of total goods imports.
China's customs agency said Chinese tariffs on USA goods would take effect immediately after the U.S. duties on Chinese goods kicked in, although Beijing has said it will not be the first to pull the trigger. "So we have 50 plus 200 plus nearly 300".
As a possible follow-up, the United States has a public hearing scheduled for July 24 to weigh tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods including machinery and plastics.
That would bring the total of targeted Chinese goods to potentially $550 billion - more than the $506 billion in goods that China actually shipped to the United States past year. Officials in Beijing reject accusations of theft and say foreign companies have no obligation to hand over technology.
The president believes this is the best way to close the trade deficit between the United States and China. On Thursday, a spokesperson for China's ministry of commerce said the U.S. will be "opening fire on the whole world and also opening fire on itself".
"The US$50-billion trade war will slow down China's GDP growth by 0.2 percentage points", Ma told Xinhua, China's official news agency. Trump has railed against Beijing for intellectual property theft and barriers to entry for United States businesses and a $375 billion USA trade deficit with China.
The American Chamber of Commerce in China appealed to both sides to negotiate. Requests for comment went unanswered at the U.S. Treasury, USTR and the U.S. Commerce Department.
Trump has become increasingly aggressive in how he handles internatoinal trade deals and is now on the verge of a trade war, with multiple countries threatening to hit back against proposed tariffs.
China's tactics were specifically created to hurt Trump supporters, he said.
Global stock markets managed small gains Friday, overcoming earlier wobbles prompted by China and the United States firing opening salvos in a trade war that pits the world's two biggest economies against each other.
Economists have for months warned of the potential damage to the USA and global economies from aggressive trade policies and protectionism, which would raise prices and upend global supply chains. "We urge the two governments to come back to the negotiation table with the aim of having productive discussions based on achieving results - focused on fairness and reciprocal treatment - instead of escalating the current situation".