Trump says he’s ready to hit China with $267bn in additional tariffs

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It would also be in addition to tariffs his administration has already imposed on $50 billion in Chinese imports, for which Beijing has retaliated with an equal amount of import taxes on US goods.

Mobile phones, the biggest U.S. import from China, have so far been spared, but would be engulfed if Trump activates the $US267 billion tariff list. "That changes the equation".

The Trump administration has already slapped duties on US$50 billion of Chinese exports since July, which spurred immediate in-kind retaliation from Beijing.

Trump told reporters about the tariffs on Friday while returning to Washington DC from Montana, where he held a campaign-style rally Thursday night.

The president's tough line contrasted with remarks earlier from White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who left open the possibility of a negotiated solution to the trade dispute, but said China must show it's open to compromise.

Trump has been locked in a trade dispute with Beijing over China's policy of forcing U.S. companies to hand over trade secrets, as a price of doing business in China. The U.S. imported $505 billion of Chinese products in 2017, Census Bureau figures show.

His comments came as Apple warned that products made in China including the Apple Watch and Air Pods headphones would cost more if Donald Trump goes ahead with the $200bn tariffs.

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The president's comments Friday came one day after a public comment period ended on his proposed taxes of up to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

A truck transports a container next to stacked containers at a port in Zhangjiagang in China's eastern Jiangsu province.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the press aboard Air Force One on September 7, 2018.

The US Trade Representative's office received almost 6,000 comments and held seven days of public hearings on the proposed levies.

"An escalation of the tariff war could start to sever or disrupt supply chains, bringing about diminished production efficiency, higher costs and lost competitiveness - ultimately leading to a lower potential growth rate for both countries", analysts at S&P Global Ratings wrote on Wednesday.

White House Economic advisor Larry Kudlow told CNBC that talks between the USA and China were ongoing. Among the equipment hit were a number of components and devices used by USA tech firms, including chips and networking gear produced in Chinese factories.

Specifically, Kudlow said, the United States was seeking "zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, zero subsidies, stop the IP theft, stop the technology transfer, allow Americans to own their own companies".

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