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

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The President is banking on the strong U.S. economy - with unemployment at record lows - to take the edge off the damage to the USA itself in the face of a trade war.

The President told reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday that he may expand his proposed tariffs as part of his ongoing trade war with China in which the two nations ramp up costs on each other's exports.

The two sides are still maintaining working communications after bilateral talks at the vice-ministerial level took place late last month in Washington, and any pressure the USA applies will be ineffective in its dealings with China, Gao said.

While the President often brags about his accomplishments via Twitter, official data shows that China's trade surplus with the United States is greater than ever. "That totally changes the equation".

The company said the tariffs would "show up as a tax on United States consumers" and "increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives".

Mobile phones aren't amongst the products, but they would be captured if Trump puts into effect the $267 billion list he warned about.

There's no final decision on that round of tariffs as the U.S. Trade Representative's office continues to "run their process", White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said on Friday.

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China so far has retaliated dollar-for-dollar with tariffs of its own on U.S. goods but since it imports less than $200 billion in goods a year from the United States, it has run out of room to match the punitive measures.

On Wednesday, Apple warned in a letter to the US trade representative that Apple's competitiveness could be hurt, leading to higher prices for consumers.

Professor Yu Miaojie, deputy dean of Peking University's National School of Development, also felt that tariffs on US$267 billion of Chinese goods would be quite unlikely. That meant that without sales to the US market, China would have run a trade deficit.

Trump's threatened tariffs, now totaling $517 billion in Chinese goods, would exceed the $505 billion in goods imported from China previous year.

The tariffs would pressure China to stop that behaviour, the administration has said. "We want lower (trade) barriers across the board".

But the tariffs do not appear to have dented the appetite for Chinese-made products in the United States.

Altogether, the U.S. tariffs could ultimately hit more than United States dollars 500 billion in Chinese goods. "However, hope springs eternal".

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