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

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

The president's comments came after Apple warned this week that Trump's proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods would affect a host of its products, including Apple Watch and Apple AirPods.

Earlier this week, Apple said in a regulatory filing that the president's proposed $200 billion in fresh tariffs on China would cover "a wide range of Apple products", from its Mac Mini computer to cables, chargers and laptop cases. "[It] could take place very soon depending on them-to a certain extent it depends on China". And I hate to say that, but behind that, there's another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want.

"That changes the equation", he added.

China's trade surplus with the United States widened to a record in August even as the country's export growth slowed slightly, an outcome that could push President Donald Trump to turn up the heat on Beijing in their cantankerous trade dispute. It makes many of its products for the USA market in China, and it also sells gadgets including the iPhone in China, making them a potential target for Chinese retaliation against the Trump tariffs.

But the higher cost of wages in the United States could offset the benefits Apple might gain by avoiding tariffs affecting its products manufactured in China.

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"We'll continue to talk to China", he said at the White House on Wednesday.

Trump has said the tariffs are necessary to punish Beijing for what he says are its unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft.

The $US200 billion list, which includes some consumer products such as cameras and recording devices, luggage, handbags, tires and vacuum cleaners, would be subject to tariffs of 10 per cent to 25 per cent.

"If the U.S. dogmatically implements any new tariff measures against China, China will have to take the necessary countermeasures", commerce spokesman Gao Feng told reporters. And China has vowed to hit $60 billion in U.S. products in retaliation.

Despite several rounds of talks between USA and Chinese officials, the two countries have made little progress toward resolving their differences.

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

The Ministry of Finance said it will raise export rebate rates for 397 goods, ranging from lubricants to children's books, meaning that firms shipping such products overseas will pay less value-added tax.

"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 U.S. companies so well".

"But right now we just can't make that deal".

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs of $50 billion on imports from China, mostly equipment and material used by manufacturers.

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