Trump tells Apple to make products in US to avoid China tariffs

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

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

President Donald Trump agrees with Apple that potential tariffs on Chinese imports could make its gadgets more expensive, but he says the tech company can fix the problem by moving production to the U.S.

"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.

He said Friday that tariffs on another US$200 billion in Chinese goods are "in the hopper" and "could take place very soon". "To a certain extent, it's up to China".

"That totally changes the equation", Mr Trump said.

Stocks dipped after the comments, with the S&P500 off 0.2 percent.

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.

Trump has already imposed 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, mostly industrial machinery and intermediate electronics parts, including semiconductors.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs of $US50 billion on imports from China, mostly equipment and material used by manufacturers. However, China's imports from the United States are $200 billion a year less than American imports from China, so it would run out of room to match US sanctions.

In August 2018, the surplus was $31,05 billion, up from $28.09 billion in July.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office received almost 6,000 comments during seven days of public hearings on the proposal.

Most comments were from companies seeking to remove products from the tariff list, arguing there were few if any alternative sources and the duties would cause financial hardship.

According to Apple, the tariffs would affect the Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, Beats headphones, AirPort routers, Apple Pencil, Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard, MacBooks, Mac mini, and a selection of cables, chargers, and adapters.

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. But, as the Guardian noted, Trump's tariffs are not working.

"The Chinese aren't paying these tariffs, American families are going to pay these tariffs".

Apple also said that, "given the balance of Apple's economic footprint, the burden of the proposed tariffs will fall much more heavily on the United States than on China".

"We are still talking with China on a number of issues".

Computer and phone makers are involved in a global supply chain that includes Chinese manufacturing, and that can not be easily excluded without harm to United States companies, Intel said in a letter to the trade representative.

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