A Reuters analysis found just 1% of the 1,102 categories of products imported from China to the USA are consumer goods.
Bloomberg earlier reported that China would start applying the duties from midnight on Friday - midday on July 5 in Washington - according to two officials with knowledge of the plans.
The World Trade Organization warned on Wednesday that trade barriers being erected by major economies could jeopardize the global economic recovery, with their effects already starting to show.
But he added that at a high level China-EU economic dialogue in Beijing last week both sides had agreed to oppose unilateralism and trade and investment protectionism.
Washington has launched a national security investigation into vehicle and truck imports, with Trump threatening Europe with a 20 percent tariff on auto imports while various countries have also already taken retaliatory steps against US tariffs on steels and aluminium products.
China is warning its citizens about traveling to the USA this summer, citing damage to the pocketbook from America's high medical costs as well as personal safety.
China's foreign ministry said Tuesday that Beijing won't hesitate to retaliate against US tariffs and escalate a trade war with Washington if tensions over economic negotiations with the Trump administration continue to rise.
European officials have told Reuters that China has put pressure on the European Union to issue a strong joint statement against U.S. President Donald Trump's trade policies, but so far they have insisted on not taking sides.
There was no mention of the trade tensions in reports on the latest travel advisory posted by the Chinese Embassy in Washington.
On Thursday, China's state media lambasted the United States.
"As terrorist attacks, political violence (including demonstrations), criminal activities, and other security incidents often take place without any warning, US citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and practice good situational awareness when traveling overseas", it said. Tabloid newspaper Global Times, which is owned by the Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily, said the escalating trade dispute would create chaos around the world.
World stocks were flat on Wednesday amid growing anxiety ahead of Washington's end of week deadline to impose tariffs on Chinese imports, while the yuan steadied after China's central bank acted to calm investors.
A US industry source said: "There is a 99 percent chance that tariffs go into force on Friday".
Perversely if China's retaliation included tariffs on U.S. dairy, meat and wine then we could actually get a bit of a trade boost.
A senior Western diplomat told Reuters that there was no sign of any talks at the moment between the two countries, even via back channels.