Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Trump calls on Apple to move production from China to US

A man walks past a screen at the Indonesia Stock Exchange building in Jakarta Indonesia A man walks past a screen at the Indonesia Stock Exchange building in Jakarta Indonesia
Lloyd Bates | 08 September, 2018, 22:42

US President Donald Trump has upped the ante on China as his administration may be about to slap tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods.

The president says the tariffs are needed to force China to stop stealing US technology and coercing American companies to surrender their trade secrets in return for access to the Chinese market.

And then he went further, saying he's also ready to hit another 267 billion worth of imports right after.

Trump said Friday he would slap another $267 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods in a third round of tariffs. "The notion that the president is going to add an extra $267 billion worth of tariffs is grossly irresponsible and possibly illegal", said Jose Castaneda, spokesman for the Information Technology Industry Council, which argues that the tariffs are not permitted under USA trade law.

"That totally changes the equation", Trump said.

The moves would sharply escalate Trump's trade war with Beijing over his demands for major changes in economic, trade and technology policy.

Stock prices slipped after his comments, which roiled technology and multinational shares.

The Chinese yuan also fell against the dollar.

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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 U.S. requests.

For the Trump administration, Friday began with sunny signs for the labor market before Trump's hawkish trade-war rhetoric clouded the outlook.

Earlier on Friday White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Trump will not make any decisions on his threatened tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods before officials evaluate public comments on them.

Apple voiced its concerns about these tariffs in a public filing Friday, arguing that tariffs could make a wide range of products the company is selling to USA consumers more expensive. All Apple had to do to avoid import taxes was to rebuild all of its manufacturing in the U.S. "Start building new plants now", he tweeted.

Investors fear Washington could impose duties on another US$200 billion of Chinese imports at any time, in what would be its most sweeping measures yet, and Beijing has vowed to once again retaliate.

"We are still talking with China on a number of issues. In the meantime, we're taking in billions of dollars of taxes coming in from China, with the potential of billions and billions of dollars more taxes coming in". Those talks will continue to go on. "We want lower (trade) barriers across the board".

"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 USA companies so well". "(Our) asks have not been satisfied", he said.

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