By Alisha Haridasani

Chinese officials accused the U.S. of plunging the countries with the world's two largest economies into a trade war Friday and said they'd retaliate immediately after President Donald Trump announced tariffs on Chinese exports.

The U.S. will levy a 25 percent tax on $50 billion of Chinese exports for “theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices,” the president said in a statement. “The United States will pursue additional tariffs if China engages in retaliatory measures.”

China, however, wasn’t deterred by the threat, promising to hit back in equal measure.

Major U.S. indices opened down on the news, with the Dow Jones tumbling nearly 300 points in early trade.

Trump decided to impose tariffs, which were initially announced in March, despite months of negotiations between the two countries. The White House has often flip flopped from tough rhetoric to declaring the trade spat “on hold”. The administration even offered to save Chinese electronics company ZTE from the brink of collapse.

This round of tariffs comes on the heels of Trump’s decision to tax steel and aluminum imports coming in from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico. At the G7 summit in Canada last week, the president further antagonized U.S. allies by refusing to sign a joint statement on shared economic goals.