Delaying or discarding the tariffs is not out of the picture, however, if China and the U.S. can get an agreement on paper.
Dec. 15 is a deadline of sorts for negotiators, as 15 percent tariffs on about $160 billion worth of Chinese exports to the U.S. are scheduled to go into effect.
"Well, unless there's some real reason to postpone them. If there were a little bit of time needed for more talks we probably would postpone it," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC on Tuesday. "Enough substantive progress had been made, [President Trump] might really have to look at the exact situation as we get a little closer to that time."
Chinese negotiators have called for the U.S. to roll back tariffs as part of a phase one agreement, something President Trump has said he won't do. The U.S. has placed tariffs on more than $350 billion of Chinese goods amid the more-than- 17-month-long trade war.
Meanwhile, a recent survey revealed a quarter of multinational companies have no contingency plans should the U.S.-China trade war become more dire.
FOX Business' Edward Lawrence and Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.