According to new reports, the US is considering 25% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, much higher than the 10% it previously indicated it might impose.
The plan could be announced as early as August 1, but a higher tariff was not finalized, sources told media.
The measure would risk further escalating tensions between the US and China which are already mired in a trade war.
Last month, the US published a list of $200 billion worth of additional products to be taxed as early as September.
The list named more than 6,000 items including food products, minerals and consumer goods such as handbags.
The US opened fire in a trade war with 25% tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods, and China retaliated in kind.
US threats have escalated since, with President Donald Trump saying he is ready to slap tariffs on all $500 billion of Chinese imports.
The US accuses China of intellectual copyright theft and wants to bring down its lofty trade deficit with the world’s second largest economy.
However, the trade dispute is also seen as part of a broader tug of war between the two powerhouses for influence on the world stage.
On July 30, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a plan to spend $113 million in Asia, a move that was widely seen as an attempt to counter China’s growing influence in the region.
According to Bloomberg, which was the first to report the news of the higher tariffs, US and Chinese officials were having private conversations as they sought to resume negotiations.
The US is also expected to soon announce tariffs on the remaining $16 billion of the $50 billion of Chinese goods the US originally planned to tax.
A public hearing on the second round of tariffs took place last week and the USTR has a July 31 deadline for post-hearing comments.