Donald Trump has threatened to impose a 10% tariff on an extra $300bn of Chinese goods, including books.
In a surprise move, the US President said he would impose further tariffs from 1st September unless Beijing struck a trade deal.
The levies would effectively tax all imported goods from China, including books, phones and clothing, the New York Times reported.
Trump announced his plan on Twitter, saying the Chinese government had decided to renegotiate a deal with the US and had not bought the agricultural products they had previously agreed to.
He wrote: “Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China into our Country. This does not include the 250 Billion Dollars already Tariffed at 25%.”
He later said the 10% tariff was only short-term and could eventually be ramped up to 25%.
US publishing figures told a United States Trade Representative hearing in June that tariffs could be highly damaging to the industry.
Lui Simpson, v.p. of global publishing for the Association of American Publishers, said: "It is hard to see any gain from tariffs on books, while the harm to American publishers, their customers, and American readers — as well as the American voices that are so important to education, religion, history, and culture — would be devastating.”