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A day later, Mnuchin said Trump's government had put its punitive tariff plan "on hold while we try to execute the framework" agreement on reducing China's trade surplus with the USA, pegged at US$375 billion in 2017.

The United States said that it will continue pursuing steps regarding trade with China, days after Washington and Beijing stated a tentative solution to their dispute and suggested that tensions had cooled.

On Tuesday, the White House said the administration would proceed with its proposal to impose 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods from China, and place new limits on Chinese investments in United States high-tech industries.

This is a developing story.

If the two sides fail to reach an agreement and the United States moves forward with tariffs, Chinese officials have said they plan to retaliate with tariffs of their own on USA exports such as soybeans.

The White House also said it plans to announce new measures to restrict Chinese investment "related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology" by 30 June. The administration previously threatened China with $150 billion in tariffs before China agreed to "significantly increase" purchases of American goods and services in its effort to reduce the trade deficit earlier this month.

In this November 9, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a joint statement to members of the media Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.

The administration is nonetheless negotiating with China. The announcement raises the stakes for the third round of talks between the two economies.

After Beijing promised to retaliate in kind to any duties, the president raised the ante to slap tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese goods.

The White House said Tuesday the tax will affect goods worth $50 billion and include products related to the Made in China 2025 program, a 2015 initiative promoting the country's information technology, robotics, aerospace, marine, rail, auto, power, agriculture and bio-medical industries. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is expected to travel to China later in the week. Ross's trip was originally meant to work out the details of a vague promise by China May 19 to increase its purchases of USA farm goods and natural gas.

China later retaliated by levying tariffs against US exports.

Trump has bemoaned the massive USA trade deficit with China - $337 billion previous year - as evidence that Beijing has been complicit in abusive trading practices.

Many experts and USA companies, however, warn that China's efforts to protect its high-tech industries and capture US technology represent the larger threat.