Beijing managed to keep Chinese economic growth steady in the most recent quarter despite a drop in exports to the United States.
The critical question is whether US and China can strike a deal by the March 1 deadline because if they succeed, a cloud will be lifted off the world economy.
The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal said US President Trump had decided to impose 10 percent levies on USD 200 billion of Chinese imports and could make an announcement in the coming days.
The fresh tariffs are aimed at putting pressure on Beijing ahead of tough negotiations on its demand for technology transfer from US companies.
Chinese factories making everything from bikes to tyres, plastics and textiles are moving assembly lines abroad to skirt higher customs taxes on their exports to the United States and elsewhere.
The company's US-made hardware products have taken it to become a USD 1 trillion company but those products are built in China which, in turn, creates thousands of jobs.
The trade war between the US and China doesn't seem to cool down. The US has planned to place tariffs on additional products worth $200 billion.
The Trump administration has argued that China has deployed predatory tactics in a push to overtake U.S. technological dominance.
The Trump administration's tariffs on USD 34 billion of Chinese imports are due to go into effect at 12.01 am eastern time on Friday.
Trump said he was pushing forward with fresh punitive measures over Beijing's "unacceptable" move to raise its own tariffs.
The White House tempered Donald Trump's praise of Chinese leader Xi Jinping's trade comments, saying concrete action was needed before Washington would consider scrapping tariffs against Beijing.
A 'request for consultations' is the first step in a full blown legal challenge at the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body.
Trade tensions between the United States and China have been escalating over the past month, following President Donald Trump's decision to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
China imposed tariffs on 128 US imports worth USD 3 billion, including meat, fruit and pork, as retaliation against taxes approved by US President Trump on imported steel and aluminium.