Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

China's trade surplus with U.S. hit new record in August

China's trade surplus with U.S. hit new record in August

However, that could change if the Trump administration follows through with earlier threats of levies on $500 billion in imports, which would cover just about everything China exports to the USA, trade experts say.

The implementation of tariffs on US$200 billion of products from China "will take place very soon depending on what happens", Trump told reporters on Air Force One on Friday.

Trump's suggestion of tariffs is just the latest attack in the trade war between the U.S. and China, and there is the possibility of a further $267 billion tariff package also being imposed on Chinese goods. And I hate to say that, but behind that, there's another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want. "That changes the equation". But if Trump adds the $200 billion in Chinese products to the target list, American consumers would likely feel the pinch directly.

The first batch of proposed tariffs would not affect iPhone production, but if the second larger batch is introduced, mobile phone production would be hit. Comparatively few applauded the tariffs.

The new duties will start to hit consumer products directly, including furniture, lighting products, tires, bicycles, and vehicle seats for babies.

That said, Apple didn't give an estimate of how much the proposed tariffs would contribute to the increased costs of its products. Apple said "it is hard to see" how tariffs would advance the government's goal. In the United States, that price jumps up to around $600, pushing the device - at the time - to a predicted price of $2000, far more than what would be seen under the tariffs. But, as the Guardian noted, Trump's tariffs are not working.

Earlier, Dell, Cisco, Juniper Networks and Hewlett Packard Enterprise warned the new taxes could result in U.S. job losses.

In the early rounds of the hostilities, the administration targeted Chinese industrial imports to try to spare American consumers from higher import costs.

The White House has accused China of stealing USA intellectual property and forcing American companies to share their technology with Chinese companies. Last Friday, over 150 industry associations and four major tech companies wrote to the US Trade Representative urging moderation or requesting exemptions from tariffs. "There's an inescapable mutuality that serves the bring the U.S. and China together", said Cook. Those talks will continue to go on. "Lower barriers, open markets, quit stealing IP and technology", he said, using an abbreviation for intellectual property.

Trump also said the United States and Japan have begun trade talks and that Tokyo "knows it's a big problem" if an agreement can not be reached.

"Those have been our asks for many months and so far those asks have not been satisfied", he said.

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