In February, Trump delayed a tariff hike planned for March 1, citing "productive" talks between the United States and China.
Trump turned up the heat by saying he would raise import taxes on $200 billion in Chinese products to 25% from 10% on Friday.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who made a quick trip to Beijing last week, has expressed optimism about the trade talks, which he said are in "final laps". The White House has ramped up pressure to reach a deal, warning it could still walk away from the months-long negotiations.
The move increases pressure on China as Vice-Premier Liu He prepares to travel to Washington this week to resume negotiations.
Trump imposed duties of 25 percent on an initial $50 billion of Chinese goods past year and then 10 percent on an additional $200 billion in products in September.
But in a tweet on Sunday, Mr. Trump said talks were progressing "too slowly" and suggested that the Chinese were attempting to renegotiate the deal.
But Michael Pillsbury, an informal trade adviser to Trump and the director for Chinese strategy at the Hudson Institute, said Kudlow's remarks downplayed the president's intent.
Trump has portrayed his tariffs as a moneymaker for the United States and a benefit to the USA economy. The United States wants the tariffs to come off slowly, as China meets certain bench marks and it may keep tariffs on US$50-billion worth of goods in place indefinitely.
Once he took office, Trump's relationship with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, seemed to get off to a good start.
The Trump administration hiked tariffs on about half of its imports from China past year, while Beijing retaliated with tariffs on more than 70% of its imports from America, according to tracking by Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
China and the United States have been engaged in a trade dispute since last June, when Trump announced that the United States would subject $50 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent tariffs in a bid to fix the over $400 billion U.S. trade deficit with China.
Bloomberg Economics chief economist Tom Orlik said: "It's possible talks are breaking down, with China offering insufficient concessions, and an increase in tariffs a genuine prospect".