The US plans to impose roughly $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods and limit the country's investment activity in the US as payback for what it alleges is years of intellectual property theft.
The White House said the actions are a necessary step to counter unfair competition from China's state-led economy.
It says years of talks about the issue failed to produce change.
China said it was ready to retaliate with necessary measures.
US President Donald Trump said he is looking for reciprocal trade terms for American companies.