China's trade surplus with United States hit new record in August

Posted September 11, 2018

US President Donald Trump called on Saturday (Sep 8) for Apple to make its products in the US instead of China to avoid suffering the consequences of his trade war with Beijing.

AirPods headphones, some of Apple's Beats headphones, and its new HomePod smart speaker also face levies as part of proposed 10 per cent tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods, according to an unsigned letter the company submitted on Wednesday to United States officials as part of a public comment period.

"Because all tariffs ultimately show up as a tax on USA consumers, they will increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives", the tech giant added.

He said Friday that tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese goods are "in the hopper" and "could take place very soon". And I hate to say this but, behind that, there's another US$267 billion ready to go on short notice, if I want. "That totally changes the equation". It makes many of its products for the U.S. 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.

That could help reignite US demands that Beijing narrow its trade gap, which has temporarily been overshadowed by their clash over complaints China steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

China has retaliated against those already in effect with tariffs of its own against United States imports targeting, among other things, agricultural produce and seafood.

Official and private manufacturing surveys for China show global demand for Chinese goods is clearly on the wane, with export orders shrinking for months in a row.

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World share indexes registered their biggest weekly declines in nearly six months in a volatile session yesterday as investors weighed solid United States economic data against expectations for higher interest rates and USA trade tensions on multiple fronts.

The chip maker points to a study from the trade group, the Consumer Technology Association, which estimates the proposed tariffs will increase prices for U.S. electronics by 6 percent.

So far this year, U.S. imports from China are running roughly 8pc higher than during the same period in 2017. -China trade war, the combined monthly value of goods and services traded between the two nations would be roughly $1 billion, or 2%, higher through July 2018 that what actually has been recorded.

The Mac mini desktop computer, Apple Pencil stylus accessory for iPads, various chargers and adaptors and tooling equipment used to manufacturer and design some products in the US will also be affected, the Cupertino, California-based company told the Office of US Trade Representative in a letter dated September 5.

The move risks raising tensions between the world's two largest economies.

The administration says eliminating the trade deficit will put the economy on a sustainable path of faster growth, an argument that has been dismissed by economists as flawed given constraints such as low productivity and slow population growth. "The traditional method of calculating the United States trade balance attributes the entire value of our products to the country where final assembly is located, in most cases China". The president has argued that aggressive tariffs will force China to modify unfair trade practices and negotiate trade arrangements that are more beneficial to American firms. Intel Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and others argued in their filings that the tariffs could hamper US competitiveness in 5G, an emerging wireless technology the White House has set up as critical to national security. The company could theoretically absorb the cost of some of the tariffs, since it is the most valuable publicly traded company in the world and recently became the first $1 trillion USA company.