This is the second tranche of tariffs following the July 6 levy on approximately $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, the USTR said. Washington has long criticised China's trade surplus with the United States and has demanded Beijing cut it.
The first round of President Donald Trump's 25 percent punitive tariffs on China will hit $50 billion in goods starting August 23, the government announced Tuesday. The USTR is reviewing 10 per cent tariffs on a further US$200 billion in Chinese imports, and is even considering raising the rate to 25 per cent.
The new tariffs, the latest in the ongoing trade spat between USA and China, target industrial supplies, chemicals, motorcycles, tractors and tractor parts, rail cars, auto parts, some iron and steel, motor and machine components and more.
The government has responded by releasing more liquidity into the banking system, encouraging lending and promising a more "active" fiscal policy.
China fired back warning it would impose duties on $60 billion in U.S. goods.
Chinese state media has said Beijing will not be cowed by Washington's threats. After Liu visited Washington later that month, the nations released a joint statement pledging to reduce the USA trade deficit with China, among other things.
Front page commentary published across all state newspapers by the official Xinhua news agency said: "Certain people go against the tide for their own private ends and go against morality; the barrier of tariffs wantonly rise, and the stick of hegemony is raised all around".
"Although this may for a moment bring preening with delight, it will make it hard to resolve economic imbalances or out of kilter politics and other deep-rooted problems", it said.
It will be the second time the USA slaps duties on Chinese goods in about the past month, despite complaints by American companies that such moves will raise business costs and eventually consumer prices.
The latest $16 billion list from the United States will hit semiconductors from China, even though numerous basic chips in these products originate from the United States, Taiwan or South Korea.
The U.S. and China have been trying to restart high-level talks that broke off after Trump followed through on his tariff threats.
USTR said there were 279 new goods to be targeted in the dispute over China's policies promoting theft of American technology.