United States slapped steep tariffs on imports of washing machines and solar energy cells & panels on Monday, the first major step by the administration.
White House advisers had warned that additional measures related to steel, aluminium and other products from China could be coming.
The imposition of tariffs will most likely increase trade tensions with other nations including China, and could result in an escalation of retaliatory trade measures against imports from US.
Both China and South Korea harshly criticised the move with both suggesting they could take their complaints to World Trade Organisation.
Protectionism was a defining theme of populist campaign in which Trump gleefully rebuffed the long standing republican embrace of free and open markets. President Trump has pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. the 12-country trade deal, and threatened other actions, including a withdrawal from the North American Free Trade agreement.
Trump is ratcheting up the protectionist policies he has long espoused as part of his “America First” approach.