Apple Issues Letter Responding to President Trump’s Proposed Tarrifs

Trump signals escalation of trade war with China, says he has tariffs ready on another $267-billion of imports

U.S. President Donald Trump said he's ready to impose tariffs on an additional US$267 billion in Chinese goods on short notice, on top of a proposed US$200 billion that his administration is putting the final touches on. Imports from the United States reached US$13.3 billion, a two per cent increase from the previous year.

He said Friday that tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese goods are "in the hopper" and "could take place very soon".

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.

The administration has a greater goal than just driving down the yawning trade deficit with China - to force Beijing to open up its market to American businesses, and curb its acquisition of American technology. Last Friday, over 150 industry associations and four major tech companies wrote to the US Trade Representative urging moderation or requesting exemptions from tariffs.

In its letter, Apple argued that the way USA trade officials calculate the U.S. trade balance - attributing the entire value of a product to a country like China where final assembly happens - fails to reflect the true value that Apple generates in the US.

"Our concern with these tariffs is that the U.S. will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower United States growth and competitiveness and higher prices for USA consumers", Apple said in the letter.

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Trump has already imposed 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, mostly industrial machinery and intermediate electronics parts, including semiconductors. "Recent data shows that China's foreign trade has stabilized and the growth momentum has been consolidated".

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".

"That totally changes the equation", Trump said.

Mr Trump appears to be ignoring calls from American industry to take his foot off the tariff pedal. That meant that without sales to the US market, China would have run a trade deficit. That's because the devices all use certain Chinese-manufactured electronic components that fall under the tariff list.

Trump remains confident he can win his trade war with China-one reason he's willing to press it during a midterm election year, even though criticism of his tactics is mounting in key states and districts.

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