Washington imposed additional 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods July 6 in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.
In retaliation, Beijing said it would also levy duties on an equal dollar amount worth of U.S. goods as well as increase regulation for American companies that are doing business in the country.
CNBC reported investors fear that an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing could hit global growth.
"We don't have anything to announce today about a specific event, or a specific round of discussions, but communication remains open and we are trying to figure out whether the conditions present themselves for a specific engagement between the two sides", one off the officials said.
Representatives of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He have been speaking privately as they seek to restart negotiations to defuse the budding trade war, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.
Trump recently threatened to slap punitive tariffs on all Chinese exports to the USA, which amounted to more than $500 billion previous year.
China is trying to seek an "equal" position in future talks with the U.S. with today's retaliation announcement, said Gai Xinzhe, analyst at the Bank of China's Institute of International Finance in Beijing.
"I sense that we're seeing a hardening of attitudes on both sides", said Jacob Parker, vice president of China relations at the U.S. China Business Council.
Investors fear an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing could hit global growth, and prominent USA business groups have condemned Trump's aggressive tariffs.
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China's imports from the United States a year ago totalled $153.9 billion.
According to the Petersen Institute of International Economics, more than 90% of the products on the USA tariffs list are made up of intermediate inputs or capital equipment.
"Escalating tariffs against China is the wrong approach to address legitimate concerns U.S. businesses have with China's harmful practices", said Myron Brilliant, head of worldwide affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Washington touted its initial tariffs as being carefully constructed to avoid having a big impact on US consumers and companies, but the expansion of the tariff lists has drawn in more goods that can not be imported from outside China.
While a trade dispute is obviously not comparable to a shooting war, the current U.S.
The officials told reporters on a background call that Trump had directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider the higher tariff rate as part efforts to ensure that it has "the right tools in place in order to encourage China to change its actions". "The cost increases will be passed on to customers, so it will affect most Americans pocketbooks".
The Trump administration plans to propose slapping a 25-per cent tariff on $200 billion of imported Chinese goods after initially setting them at 10 per cent, in a bid to pressure Beijing into making trade concessions, a source familiar with the plan said on Tuesday.
China is threatening to impose the tariffs on a wide range of products, including chemicals, plastics and leather goods, according to business groups representing those industries.