Trump tells Apple to move plants from China to US

Alicia Cross
September 9, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Friday he was ready to slap tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports into the United States, threatening duties on another $267 billion of goods on top of $200 billion in imports primed for levies in coming days.

Trump's now threatened tariffs on a total of 517 billion dollars in Chinese imports - a figure that eclipses the total amount of goods imported from China to the USA a year ago.

In a letter addressed to the Office of U.S. Trade Representative, the Cupertino company said: "It is hard to see how tariffs that hurt USA companies and United States consumers will advance the government's objectives with respect to China's technology policies".

Apple also said that, "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".

China's trade surplus with the United States reached US$31 billion in August, an 18.7 per cent increase from the same month last year and up from its previous record, US$28.9 billion, in June this year, according to customs data.

Trump, speaking on Friday aboard Air Force One, said the administration had tariffs planned for an additional $US267 billion ($A376 billion) worth of Chinese goods.

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"The $200 billion we're talking about could happen very soon", Trump said.

For January-August, China's trade surplus with the United States was $192.64 billion, compared with about $167.94 billion in the same period previous year.

"More broadly, tariffs will lead to higher USA consumer prices, lower overall US economic growth, and other unintended economic consequences".

This would further escalate the trade war Trump is leading against China.

Kudlow, who heads the National Economic Council, told CNBC the administration was still talking with China about trade issues but so far China had not met USA requests. That totally changes the equation.

The August surplus with the USA was larger than China's overall surplus of $27.91 billion for the month.

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