Washington, Europe and other trading partners say those plans violate China's market-opening commitments.
Talk might be cheap, but it is certainly better than another round of multi-billion-dollar tit-for-tat tariffs between the United States and China.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently sent an invitation to Chinese officials proposing a bilateral meeting at ministerial level, the daily reported.
Mr. Trump threatened to increase that number by another $267 billion to bring the total tariffs to an amount equal to all of China's annual exports to the U.S. The administration already imposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, slapped tariffs on aluminum (10 percent) and steel (25 percent), and raised duties on washing machines (up to 50 percent) and solar panels (up to 30 percent).
"If nearly a half of American companies anticipate a strong negative impact from the next round of USA tariffs, then the US administration will be hurting the companies it should be helping", he said.
In the case of the Trump administration's trade tensions with China, the USA clearly has an edge when it comes to imposing tariffs.
The U.S. has enjoyed near-record low joblessness and faster economic growth in 2018, while Beijing's economy faces growing long-term concerns, including a sharp decline in the value of its currency.
More than half of firms say they are already feeling Beijing's wrath, with 27% reporting increased inspections, 19% feeling heightened regulatory scrutiny and 23% witnessing slower customs clearance.
China has also warned it could unleash "qualitative" measures, which US business groups have interpreted as more burdensome regulations, stalled visas and other red-tape headaches.
News of the invite comes as it emerged Thursday that United States firms in China are beginning to feel the pinch of tariffs already imposed on the Asian giant.
"The U.S. administration runs the risk of a downward spiral of attack and counterattack, benefiting no one", William Zarit said in the statement.
Some 63.6 percent of more than 430 companies that responded to the American chambers' survey said profits and customer demand have fallen due to the US tariffs and 62.5 percent said the same about retaliatory Chinese tariffs. They said almost one-third are thinking about canceling or postponing investment decisions. President Donald Trump said last week that new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods could go into effect "very soon" and warned that an even bigger raft of measures is in the works.
The survey released Thursday by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China polled almost 200 European firms doing business in China and found 17% are delaying investment or expansion plans.
"I think most of us think it's better to talk than not to talk, and I think the Chinese government is willing to talk", Kudlow said.
"We share the concerns of the United States regarding China's trade and investment practices, but continuing along the path of tariff escalation is extremely unsafe", warned Harborn.