Spot gold was down 0.1% to $1,461.05 per ounce by 0156 GMT. U.S. gold futures was flat at $1,465.40.
"These decisions would have very negative consequences both from an economic and a political point of view," Le Maire told reporters shortly after meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The US and China have been locked in an escalating trade spat since early 2018, raising import tariffs on each other's goods.
The proposed target, to be unveiled at the annual parliamentary session in March, was endorsed by top leaders at the annual closed-door Central Economic Work Conference in mid-December, according to four sources with knowledge of the meeting's outcome.
The WTO's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) has agreed to establish panels to review US President Donald Trump's decision to hit a long line of countries with tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium.
Import growth also defied forecasts for a slowdown, suggesting Beijing's efforts to cushion the cooling economy may be slowly starting to make themselves felt.
Hl Corp, a Shenzhen-listed bike parts maker, made clear to investors last month that tariffs were in mind when it decided to move production to Vietnam.
Steel sector is on a revival mode and the consumption is increasing in tandem with production, said Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma.
EUROFER chief Axel Eggert said today that "the national security justification the president has used - and the linking of these tariffs to NATO funding - is an absurdity."