China's Commerce Ministry said in a seperate statement Beijing's new set of proposed import tariffs on USA goods were rational and restrained. "I noticed today that Japan's stock market is now worth more than China's - I love that", he told journalists at the White House.
Calling the Chinese economy weak from the lawn of the White House in an interview with Bloomberg TV, Kudlow said: "The president has said time and again, that targeted tariffs are going to be part of the gameplan with China - unless, and until, they begin to meet our requests, and so far they have not".
China's commerce ministry affirmed that the decision came in response to the US move this week to increase proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from a 10 percent rate to 25 percent, the Financial Times reported.
The two countries have not had formal trade talks since early June.
The Trump administration slapped duties on US$34 billion of Chinese goods last month, which prompted immediate retaliation from China, and another US$16 billion will likely follow in the coming days or weeks.
He has previously warned he is prepared to "go to 500", a reference to the £384bn ($500bn) worth of goods Chinese firms sold to the USA previous year.
An all-out trade war could overshadow Trump's otherwise solid economic record of low unemployment and stimulus-fuelled growth.
The dispute is part of broader USA complaints about global trading conditions that have prompted Trump to raise duties on steel, aluminum, washing machines or solar panels from Canada, Europe, Japan and South Korea.
While the tariffs imposed by the European Union still remain in place, the bloc has agreed not to implement more while negotiators from Washington and Brussels attempt to thrash out a deal.
"Any unilateral threat or blackmail will only lead to intensification of conflicts and damage to the interests of all parties".
It said retaliatory duties of 25 percent, 20 percent, 10 percent or 5 percent on 5,207 products will be imposed "if the US side persists in putting its tariff measures into effect".
"Cooperation is the only right choice for China and the United States", Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said after meeting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Singapore, according to China's official Xinhua news agency. The tariffs would range from 5 percent to 25 percent.
But analysts say that China can absorb the blow by expanding stimulus programmes, fiscal spending and bank lending.