China bought American goods worth $153.9 billion past year, while exports to the United States totaled $429.8 billion, according to customs data.
Even before Mr. Trump threatened to escalate the tariff fight with China, CEO confidence in economic growth was ebbing.
And the markets are unnerved.
The Dow Industrials and S&P 500 fell more than a percent, but the losses in Asia were more severe. The Shanghai Composite Index was down 3.7 percent at midday while Tokyo's benchmark was off 1.7 percent.
In a report published Wednesday, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China reported "significant concerns" among its members about "Made in China 2025", Beijing's plan to boost industries like robotics, electric cars and computer chipswith the aim of becoming a global leader in those areas. "We know that no one will benefit from this beggar-thy-neighbour approach to trade", Ms. Freeland said. And those negotiations appeared to be going well - for Beijing, anyway.
China, which has bought an average 330,000 barrels per day (bpd) of US crude oil this year, is threatening to place a 25 percent tariff on various USA commodity exports, including crude oil, although it is so far unclear when such a measure would come in place.
But Stateside, these developments suffered a chilly reception.
"I think that the other side may have underestimated the strong resolve of President Donald J. Trump", Navarro added.
Initially, 545 USA products valued at $34 billion will be targeted by China, mimicking the Trump administration's tariff rollout.
"The United States has initiated a trade war and violated market regulations, and is harming the interests of not just the people of China and the US, but of the world", the ministry said in a statement.
The White House was not pleased.
"China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology", Trump said.
"Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong", he said in a statement announcing the possibility of additional tariffs.
The U.S. has long accused China of stealing U.S. technology secrets, requiring U.S. firms to share intellectual property as a condition for doing business in joint ventures in China.
In the first three months of this year, USA crude made up around 5 percent of China's total crude imports, according to Chinese customs data. He said he told Xi that the current system is "not fair competition".
By contrast, Trump's supporters in agricultural areas are already bristling at his protectionism.
Post reporter Isabel Vincent, a native of Canada, had written a story in Sunday's paper expressing her skepticism that Canadians would boycott American goods - and cited her, her family's and her friends' experiences buying lower-cost shoes, clothing and other items and sneaking them back across the border to avoid tariffs.
As economist Dean Baker explains at the Center for Economic and Policy Research website, China has the tools to deliver massive blows to some of America's biggest businesses despite the fact that it has a sizable trade surplus with the United States.
United States business groups said members were bracing for a backlash from the Chinese government that would affect all American firms in China, not just in sectors facing tariffs.