US President Donald Trump. AFP

The United States on Wednesday threatened to impose fresh tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese goods and Beijing vowing to retaliate.

The latest moves in the ballooning trade conflict between the world’s top two economies came just days after tit-for-tat duties on $34 billion in goods came into effect.

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US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday accused China of retaliating to its tariffs “without any international legal basis or justification.”

President Donald Trump has therefore ordered the trade department to “begin the process of imposing tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports,” Lighthizer said in a statement.

Reacting to the “totally unacceptable” Washington list, the commerce ministry in Beijing said it would be forced to take “countermeasures”.

Beijing said it would “immediately” tack on the case to its suit against Washington’s “unilateralist” behaviour at the World Trade Organization.

At a forum in Beijing, a senior official accused the US of “damaging the world economic order” and said tit-for-tat tariffs would “destroy” trade between the rival powers.

“The outburst of large-scale mutual levying of tariffs between China and the United States will inevitably destroy Sino-US trade,” said the assistant minister of commerce Li Chenggang.