"We're very concerned about what might happen as far as a tariff", he said.
"It is a typical unilateralism and trade protectionism".
"We firmly oppose it".
Trump's move on Thursday was seen as a direct shot in a brewing trade war between the world's two biggest economies.
"I don't think local governments in the United States and President Trump hope to see US workers losing their jobs", Sun Yongcai, general manager at Chinese railway firm CRRS Corp, which has two USA production plants, said at the forum.
Nervous traders on Wall Street initially sent stock prices tumbling, with the Dow closing down more than 700 points. Major industrials that could become targets of Chinese trade retaliation slumped further, with aircraft maker Boeing down 5.2 per cent and earthmoving equipment maker Caterpillar falling 5.7 per cent.
USA agricultural exports to China stood at $19.6 billion previous year, with soybean shipments accounting for $12.4 billion.
For now, NRF's members are in wait-and-see mode until USTR releases the list of tariffs, Gold said.
Vice Premier Liu He attends a press conference after the closing session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Instead, the White House announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, including from China, on the first day of his visit.
The spiralling trade dispute between the world's two largest economies has spurred concerns among companies and investors that global commerce could be depressed. A Chinese Commerce Ministry trade negotiator, Chen Fuli, said that Beijing objects to the unilateral trade actions by the US and won't negotiate as long as it insists on acting unilaterally.
Chinese purchases of those goods previous year totaled $3 billion, the ministry said.
She said China hoped the United States would "refrain from moves that will hurt both itself and others".
A USTR statement said possible measures include a 25 percent tariff on Chinese-made aerospace, computer and information technology and machinery but gave no details. The country has hinted that soybeans - the largest US agricultural export - are a likely next target.
"China's market receives the largest number of U.S. planes and soybeans and the second largest number of United States cars and cotton".
Closer to home in the US, smaller companies may feel the brunt of restrictive trade actions, according to Gary Huang, the Shanghai-based founder of consultancy 80/20 Sourcing. "We are still trying to avoid one [with the US]".
"If somebody tries to impose a trade war upon us, we will fight".
"If the trading regime really collapses then we suffer massively", he said from Washington.
Rick Larsen, a US House Representative from the second congressional district in the northwestern US state, said Trump's attempt to punish China by hitting it with US$60 billion of punitive tariffs "is not the right choice".
Through the trade war, Trump will only learn the basic common sense of foreign trade: the high costs caused by tariffs will ultimately be paid by USA companies and consumers, it said. However, Chinese officials already insist companies aren't required to hand over technology, so it was unclear how policy might change.
Market access to aged care, education and healthcare and financial services sectors would be widened, and limits on foreign equity lifted in some areas.
The country's regulatory regime is still highly restrictive, says Atlanta-based UPS, which entered China 30 years ago through a joint venture agreement and took ownership of its business there in 2005.