Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Trump intensifies trade war, threatens duties on nearly all imports from China

Trump intensifies trade war, threatens duties on nearly all imports from China

In a tweet, Trump said there's an "easy solution" to Apple's potential woes that also came with a tax break: "Make your products in the United States instead of China".

"Our concern with these tariffs is that the US will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower USA growth and competitiveness and higher prices for US consumers", Apple said in a letter to the US Trade Representative's office.

The U.S. Trade Representative's public notice and comment period for the proposed additional tariffs ended Thursday.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs of $US50 billion on imports from China, mostly equipment and material used by manufacturers.

The presidential tweet is the latest salvo in a dispute between the Trump administration and companies that fear tariffs will hurt their business. This, however, only refers to Apple, the iPhone, and the other Apple products.

President Trump offered a tip to the world's largest tech company Saturday - telling Apple it should start building more factories here at home to avoid suffering from a possible tariff hike.

The company said tariffs would hit "a wide range of Apple products, " including computers, watches, adapters, chargers and tools used in its US manufacturing, fix and data centers.

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China's trade surplus with the United States reached a record $31 billion in August, despite hefty tariffs recently imposed on Chinese goods.

Trump said Friday he would slap another $267 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods in a third round of tariffs. "Because all tariffs ultimately show up as a tax on USA consumers, they will increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives", the tech giant added.

Apple CEO Tim Cook didn't sound that concerned about the tariffs during the company's Q3 earnings call.

The country's trade surplus with the U.S.

Exports to the 28-nation European Union, China's biggest trading partner, rose 11 percent to $37 billion.

"We are puzzled as to why the Administration may be using tariffs in part to re-engineer global ICT (information, communication and technology) supply chains that have served United States companies so well".

"Given the balance of Apple's economic footprint, the burden of the proposed tariffs will fall much more heavily on the United States than on China", Apple said in its letter. Apple said "it is hard to see" how tariffs would advance the government's goal.

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