US officials said Wednesday that Trump had asked the US Trade Representative to consider increasing the proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from the planned 10 percent.
The action could threaten the health of the US economy, including the machinery and farming sectors of the Mahoning Valley economy, officials say.
But economists now worry that a continually widening trade deficit - which will be exacerbated if Trump keeps upping tariffs - will slow the US economy in the second half of the year, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Several countries, including China, had a say in the matter because Qualcomm sells its products globally and the proposed merger could have been seen as giving the company a price monopoly, it said.
The White House has imposed a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods containing "industrially significant technologies" in an escalating, tit-for-tat conflict between the world's two largest economies.
June 17: Trump announced he was imposing a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of goods from China.
China's state media said on Saturday the government's retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods showed rational restraint and they accused the United States of blackmail. "Those are the things that concern us the most".
"Tariffs are working far better than anyone ever anticipated", he claimed, citing a big drop in China's stock market.
"In violation of the bilateral consensus reached after multiple rounds of negotiations, the United States has again unilaterally escalated trade frictions", China's State Council Tariff Commission said in a statement.
He has also announced $12 billion in aid to farmers hurt by the tariffs.
Chinese leaders have offered to narrow their politically sensitive trade surplus with the United States by purchasing more American goods.
China's imports from the United States past year totaled $153.9 billion.
The new list includes products as varied as snow blowers and 3-D printers, suggesting Chinese authorities are struggling to find enough imports their own economy can do without.
Officials in Beijing are reported to be unwilling to commit to any further discussions unless the White House can decide on who is the point person in charge. The deficit had narrowed in previous months as companies rushed out exports to beat the imposition of tariffs. The U.S. can buy more because the economy is strong.
But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo remained steadfast on Washington's push for fairer trading conditions.
The move was meant to bring China back to the negotiating table for talks over USA demands for structural changes to the Chinese economy and a cut in the bilateral trade deficit.
"The United States was allowed to get truly ripped off", Trump said earlier in the week. China's growing sweet tooth is seen as a big sales opportunity for worldwide makers of cookies and chocolate bars like Mars and Hershey (HSY.N).
The US trade deficit increased in June, to $46.3 billion (R615 billion) from $43.2 billion in May, according to the US Census Bureau.
"We said before that this round of tariffs amounted to doubling down on the recklessness of imposing trade policy that will hurt U.S. families and workers more than they will hurt China", a major trade group, the National Retail Federation, said in a statement last week.