Trump issues $267bn tariff threat to China ahead of trade talks

Shares of Apple and some of its suppliers were sagging on Tuesday after President Donald Trump said he might include iPhones and other high-volume consumer electronics products in the potential next wave of tariffs on imports from China.

According to the Census Bureau, the USA goods trade deficit hit a record high of $77.2 billion in October, up from $76.3 billion the month before. It put a 10% tax on goods ranging from luggage to bikes and baseball gloves.

The EU and USA suspended potential auto tariffs in a truce announced over the summer, but that deal may not hold much longer, some observers predict.

The discussions in Argentina will center around a 142-point list of USA demands reportedly floated between American and Chinese negotiators in recent weeks, a collection of asks that may be edited and refined in the coming weeks.

Remember that the president's saber rattling against China has included a threat to impose tariffs on all US$500 billion worth of goods the USA imports from China, and "all" would seem to include cellphones and computers, which are the top two categories of USA imports from China based on value of goods.

China had lowered tariffs for all other countries to 15 per cent, but imposed an additional 25 per cent retaliatory tariff on U.S. vehicles.

Tariffs on the $200bn of Chinese goods are due to rise to 25% from 10%.

Trump campaigned on reducing the trade imbalance with China, which totaled $335.4 billion past year.

"But we have literally helped rebuild China with the kind of money that we lose on trade, and I just decided about a year ago that I just won't do that", he said.

Trump himself told The Wall Street Journal that it was "highly unlikely" that he would accept China's request to defer the next increase scheduled for January 1.

Trade frustrations and market disruptions will be at the centre of a summit sideline meeting between Trump and China's President Xi Jinping.

The G20 meeting comes as global economic growth may be slowing more than expected, the International Monetary Fund warned. "What's happening in the Sea of Azov is serious", said Francois Heisbourg, special adviser at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris. "It's a lot of the things we asked for", Trump said on November 16.

Washington will tell in its own way its version of the event - a major diplomatic occasion that could affect the world's economic trajectory for years to come - while Beijing is likely to give a brief summary of the first face-to-face meeting between Trump and Xi since the start of the trade war, the source said.

"It is quite futile for Washington to demand that China changes their game plan", Lam says.

Traders and financial professionals on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Nov 20, 2018. "And the precision that you have to have in tooling and working with the materials that we do are state-of-the-art", Cook told Fortune in 2017.

In a pair of Twitter posts on Wednesday, Trump pointed to a longstanding United States tariff on imported pickup trucks that has helped US-based automakers dominate that market. USA steel producers have welcomed the taxes, as they've seen prices for their own products go up.

"As far as other countries are concerned, that's up to them".

Apple's flagship product is manufactured in China.

  • Zachary Reyes