China has lodged an official complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the tariffs imposed by the US on import duties.
No details were released on the legal case, but China's Commerce Ministry says the 15 per cent levies that came into effect late last week on tools, clothing and some electronics will affect billions of dollars' worth of trade in exports.
It insists these latest actions violate a consensus reached by the leaders of the two nations at a recent meeting in Osaka and states China will defend its legal rights according to WTO rules.
This is the third time legal action has been taken by China against the Trump administration's policies, but the US maintains it is punishing the Asian nation for intellectual property theft that is not covered by WTO regulations.
Washington now has 60 days to try to settle the dispute before China could ask the WTO to adjudicate.
Meanwhile, China has also announced a new raft of tariffs on American goods that will come into effect in December 2019.