The White House also saidnew restrictions on Chinese investment and enhanced export controls will be announced by June 30, with implementation soon after.
Washington postponed its tariff threat in mid-May after Beijing promised to significantly increase its purchases of US farm goods and energy products, such as natural gas. The status of the agreement is unclear now that U.S. tariffs look set to go forward. "President Trump has the courage and vision to turn that around". The tariff threat is unlikely to derail ongoing talks, they said.
Economists say the changes also can help generate jobs in China by allowing consumers to buy higher-quality goods locally instead of when they travel overseas.
China faces a hard decision over whether to follow through with a response to USA tariffs on $50 billion worth of imports.
But Beijing did not agree to any specific dollar amounts, despite the Trump administration's push to lower the US trade deficit by at least $200 billion. The fine would be on top of a $1 billion penalty ZTE has already paid for selling high-tech equipment to North Korea and Iran in violation of USA sanctions.
The relationship between Navarro and Mnuchin appears to have been souring for a while over U.S.
The White House said Tuesday, May 29, 2018, that the tariff will cover goods related to the "Made in China 2025" program.
The full list of imports that will be subject to the 25% tariffs will be announced by 15 June, the White House said. The list will be based on a previous compilation of 1,300 goods released in April that will be narrowed based on public comments the administration has received. This list consists of items related to medical devices and industrial machinery.
Investor Wilbur Ross was brought into the administration as one of President Donald Trump's "killers" - but in recent months, the commerce secretary has been increasingly marginalized, with his agency widely seen in the White House as a mess.
However, the big risk is that Beijing won't have any confidence in Ross to make a deal that Trump will accept. Ross will have less than two weeks to solve the knotty issue of trade before the tariffs get officially imposed, so there's not much room for error. "It could very well complicate Wilbur Ross's visit".
Navarro was part of the delegation Mnuchin led to Beijing in early May for the first round of talks, which produced no consensus and reportedly included a shouting match between the two men over the USA negotiating stance.
US Treasure Secretary Steven Mnuchin had said any trade war would be put on ice while negotiators thrashed out details and as part of the deal, China would reduce its trade advantage by buying more US goods such as agricultural and energy commodities. China also subsidizes many favored industries.
"We want to reiterate that we don't want a trade war, but we aren't afraid of fighting one", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a briefing on Wednesday, CNN reported.
Other advisers have pushed for tougher action, demanding that China make substantial reforms to its economy to end the subsidies it provides to developing industries and to allow American companies equal access in the Chinese market.
Navarro's comments underscore the frequent shifts in the Trump administration's position on China - which the president has both praised and denigrated since before he took office a year ago - and come shortly before US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross departs for Beijing for a third round of high-level talks aimed at defusing the trade dispute.
But when Trump subsequently said he would ease penalties against ZTE in order to save Chinese jobs, this drew a sharp backlash from his supporters.