In retaliation, China then threatened to do likewise on $60 billion of USA goods.
The president has repeatedly threatened to raise tariffs if Chinese President Xi Jinping doesn't meet with him at the Group of 20 leaders' meeting June 28-29 in Osaka, Japan.
Trump is using tariffs to push Xi to change a host of Chinese trade practices, but negotiations have flagged.
With less than three weeks to go before talks between Chinese and US leaders, expectations for progress toward ending the trade war are low. Sources have told Reuters that there has been little preparation for a meeting even as the health of the world economy is at stake.
"We remain concerned about the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs", the companies and groups said in the letter.
US authorities are also preparing to probe market power of large technology companies, according to sources.
The U.S. Trade Representative will hold public hearings on the proposed tariffs from Monday.
Walmart, the largest USA private sector employer and the world's largest retailer, has said tariffs will increase prices for US consumers. He urged the Trump administration focus on how trade helps a broad number of people in the country and "not just those it harms". After talks on a trade deal with China faltered in May, he ordered a tariff increase to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on US$200 billion of goods and targeted an additional US$300 billion in products for duties - including consumer items from clothing to toys to mobile phones that the administration tried to spare in previous rounds.
They would also add more than US$2,000 in costs for the average American family of four and reduce the value of United States gross domestic product by 1 per cent, it said.
"An escalated trade war is not in the country's best interest, and both sides will lose", the letter said.