The Commerce Ministry statement gave no further details of the American products that would be hit.
U.S. President Trump has made up his mind to impose "pretty significant" tariffs on Chinese goods, an administration official said on Thursday, as Beijing warned that it was ready to respond if Washington chose to ratchet up trade tensions.
USA proposals to smack tariffs on US$50 billion of Chinese imports are just the start, economists and China-watchers said as they await an impending announcement.
He trimmed the list to 800 product categories, Reuters news agency reported, citing industry sources familiar with the list.
"The Treasury Department believes that our policies, including the productivity-boosting mix of tax reform and regulatory relief, will result in more sustainable economic growth", the statement said. "[Friday's] action comes after an exhaustive Section 301 investigation in which USTR found that China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory, and burden U.S. commerce".
After China warned it would retaliate, Trump threatened tariffs on a further $100 billion of Chinese products. But for the farmer or the small auto parts manufacturer that may have a bad year or go out of business during the tariff battle, it probably won't feel worth it.
Agriculture producers and related industries dependent on exports to China are turning to Congress for help as the Trump administration prepares to levy trade tariffs on China.
The tariffs will take effect within days.
The energy sector also dropped 1.4 per cent as oil prices fell ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna next week as two of the world's biggest producers, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, indicated they were prepared to increase output. And that's what has our trading partners so unnerved. This will be a disappointment for China.
China also said it would scrap promises to purchase more U.S. goods.
A trade war could pose a risk to Trump's peace talks in North Korea as America has been coordinating closely with Beijing.
The U.S.is scheduled on Friday to release an updated list of Chinese tariff targets.
But while strong words have been said within the Chinese media, the government has made it clear that its willing to engage with the United States on trade issues.
The Commerce Ministry said it also was scrapping deals to buy more American farm goods and other exports as part of efforts to defuse a sprawling dispute over its trade surplus and technology policy.
Amid the rising trade tension, China's Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Chinese exporters have been front-loading their shipments due to changes in the worldwide trade environment.
"Today's USA action is generally market negative because investors likely see the United States imposing tariffs as increasing somewhat the risk of a full-on trade war, as we do", wrote Evercore ISI analyst Terry Haines in a Friday note.
In his remarks, Pompeo did not address the looming deadline, but he did stress the USA deficit with China was still too high.
Beijing had previously pledged to respond to Washington's tariffs with retaliatory levies on $50 billion of goods form the U.S., including cars, planes and soybeans.
"This is a protectionist measure targeting a high-quality and successful European Union product popular with USA consumers", the spokesman added. We have espoused the benefits of capitalism, of free trade, of open markets to the whole world.
"We had good and constructive discussions".