President Donald Trump’s administration is expected to begin Friday implementing tariffs on China to officially initiate a trade war, according to U.S. media reports.
Tariffs worth of $34 billion on Chinese goods are to take effect at 12:01 a.m. EST (0400GMT), while $16 billion are scheduled for a later date.
The White House initially announced in April that it is planning to slap China with $50 billion in tariffs, and added in June they could 'contain industrially significant technologies.'
The new tariffs come 'in light of China’s theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices,' the White House said in a statement on June 15.
As a response, Beijing is expected to impose retaliatory tariffs almost immediately against the U.S., which could escalate the trade war between the world's two biggest economies and have a spillover effect on other regions.
After the Trump administration announced imposing tariffs in of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports in March, China said it would impose $3 billion worth of tariffs between 15 to 25 percent on 128 American goods.
After Washington's plan to impose 25 percent tariffs on 1,300 Chinese goods that are worth $50 billion in April, Beijing immediately said it will place 25 percent tariffs on 106 American goods worth $50 billion.
The U.S.'s trade deficit with China was $347 billion in 2016.
By Ovunc Kutlu in New York