Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Trump says ready to up China tariff list to US$517 billion

Trump says ready to up China tariff list to US$517 billion

President Trump proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products - and there is the threat of a further $267 billion- has caused Apple to write to the US Trade Representative to point out that this would lead to increased productions costs for many of its products.

They will "take place very soon, depending on what happens", he said about the new tariffs, in comments made to reporters while aboard Air Force One en route to Fargo, North Dakota.

Chinese exports to the United States rose to US$44.4 billion in August, a 13.2 per cent increase from the same period previous year, according to customs data.

The tariffs proposed by the Trump administration would make certain Apple products like the Watch, AirPods, and chargers, more expensive.

"It is hard to see how tariffs that hurt US companies and USA consumers will advance the Government's objectives with respect to China's technology policies".

The United States has demanded that China better protects American intellectual property, cut its USA trade surplus, allow U.S. companies greater access to its markets and roll back its high-technology industrial subsidy programs.

Trump has had Beijing in his crosshairs since he took office and has applied increasing pressure to try to convince it to change its policies, allow more USA imports and reduce the $335-billion United States trade deficit with China.

Trump has already imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $US50 billion worth of Chinese goods, mostly industrial machinery and intermediate electronics parts, including semiconductors. And I hate to say this but, behind that, there's another US$267 billion ready to go on short notice, if I want.

"That totally changes the equation", Trump said.

Chinese exporters of lower-value goods such as handbags and surgical gloves say US orders have fallen off.

The Commerce Ministry expressed confidence Thursday that China can maintain "steady and healthy" economic growth despite the trade pressure.

In August 2018, the surplus was $31,05 billion, up from $28.09 billion in July. It makes many of its products for the US market in China, and it also sells gadgets including the iPhone in China, making them a potential target for Chinese retaliation against the Trump tariffs. The company has not announced plans to move manufacturing from China to the U.S.

On Friday (September 8), Kudlow also told Bloomberg the administration would consider public comments before making a final call on the 200 billion list.

"China will have to take necessary countermeasures if the United States side ignores the opposition of the overwhelming majority of its enterprises and adopts new tariff measures", Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday.

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