“What the United States is doing is strategically defending itself from China’s economic aggression,” said Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council and an architect of the measures. “We repeatedly aired our concerns about China as a nonmarket economy.”
The tariffs, which the United States trade representative will publish within 15 days, will target 1,300 lines of Chinese goods — everything from shoes and clothing to electronics, administration officials said.
Mr. Trump, the officials said, will also direct the Treasury Department to impose restrictions on Chinese investment in American technology companies — a practice that they said the Chinese government uses to develop its own “national champions” in cutting-edge industries like artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles.
Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, told the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday that he had recommended the forthcoming actions against China include tariffs on Chinese products from all of the advanced industries the county has vowed to build up as part of its “Made in China 2025” plan. Those industries include electric vehicles, high-tech shipping and aerospace technology. Mr. Lighthizer called them “the ones I care about” for tariff purposes.
“The end objective of this is to get China to modify its unfair trade practices,” Everett Eissenstat, the deputy director of the National Economic Council, said in a telephone call with reporters.
Mr. Navarro cast the tariffs as part of a seminal shift in how the United States views China. Rather than trying to draw it into the rules-based international economic order — a policy that dates back to Richard M. Nixon and Henry A. Kissinger — the United States now regards China as a strategic competitor, bent on eroding American security and prosperity.
But the moves come at a time when Mr. Trump has enlisted President Xi Jinping of China to help pressure North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Last year, Mr. Trump said he had decided not to designate China as a currency manipulator, in part because China was cooperating in the pressure campaign.
Mr. Trump’s explicit linkage of trade and security raises questions about whether the tensions from these tariffs will spill over into the North Korea issue.
The prospect of growing trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies spooked global financial markets.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell by nearly 2 percent. Germany’s DAX fell by more than 2 percent as investors digested the threat to the country’s export-driven economy. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index dropped by more than 1.5 percent.
Boeing, one of America’s largest exporters, declined 3.8 percent. Money flowed to government bonds as investors sought safety, briefly driving yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note down below 2.8 percent. Yields move in the opposite direction of bond prices. Crude oil futures slipped 0.8 percent.