The US has said it will not be removing any of the tariffs imposed on Chinese imports in the coming months and would not rule out the implementation of additional punitive measures against the Asian nation.
It had been thought, given president Joe Biden's criticism of his predecessor Donald Trump's aggressive stance on China, that tariffs might be lifted on Chinese goods going to the US as his presidency progressed.
However, at a press briefing in Washington, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said this will not be the case and that Beijing will still be held accountable for the trade commitments it has agreed to.
So far, China is more than 30 per cent short of the purchasing commitments it made as part of a deal with the US in January 2020, something Ms Tai said she will be pressing her Chinese counterparts on amid the possibility of further tariffs.
According to Peterson Institute for International Economics figures quoted by the New York Times, the US imposes tariffs on 66.4 percent of imported Chinese goods, while China has tariffs on 58.3 percent of American products.
In a speech, Ms Tai said China's policies are damaging to democratic economies - particularly with regard to steel, solar panels and semiconductors - meaning action must be taken.
"Our objective is not to inflame trade tensions with China. But above all else, we must defend to the hilt our economic interests," she concluded.