The U.S. released a list Tuesday of 1,300 Chinese products that could face tariffs. It would amount to about $50 billion worth of goods.
The tariffs would be aimed at the technology sector, including information technology, robotics and aerospace.
The U.S. trade representative's office said in a statement Tuesday the tariffs are "appropriate both in light of the estimated harm to the U.S. economy, and to obtain elimination of China's harmful acts, policies, and practices."
China had a similar protectionist explanation when it hit the U.S. with retaliatory tariffs Sunday, following the first set of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports last month.
The tariffs won't go into effect right away, or possibly at all. There will be a public comment meeting on May 15.