Trump trade adviser says he has no knowledge of iPhone tariff exception

Muriel Colon
June 22, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods and Beijing warned it would retaliate, in a rapid escalation of the trade conflict between the world's two biggest economies.

The US "practice of extreme pressure and blackmail departed from the consensus reached by both sides during multiple negotiations and has also greatly disappointed worldwide society", China's commerce ministry said in a statement on its website.

"If the US becomes irrational and issues this list, China will have no choice but to adopt strong countermeasures of the same amount and quality", the Chinese Commerce Ministry said.

The Trump administration's new tariffs focused mainly on industrially manufactured goods like machines, robots, motors, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

"The trade relationship between the United States and China must be much more equitable", he said in explaining his latest decision.

The ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China knocked the yuan to 6.4660 per dollar, its weakest in more than five months in the offshore market.

China's heavily regulated economy also gives officials the option of tying up companies with tax, anti-monopoly or other investigations.

Padilla said the API was talking to the Trump Administration about its concerns.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry responded that it would "strike back hard" with "measures that match the U.S. move in quantity and quality".

"Everyone knows ... China is the main perpetrator", he said. Manufacturing iPhones involves nine companies, located across South Korea, Japan, Germany and the USA, and these companies ship the iPhone components to a company located in China, for assembly into final products and then exported to the United States and the rest of the world.

For months, the USA and China have traded tit-for-tat trade threats, and they have escalated again in just the last few days. He criticized China's trade policies as "predatory". China is retaliating by raising import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey.

Mr Pompeo raised the trade issue directly with China last week, when he met in Beijing with President Xi Jinping and others.

Trump said that Canada produced energy and timber but that it was time for them to stop taking advantage of the United States on trade.

Flags of US and China are placed for a meeting in Beijing on June 30, 2017. Slapping tariffs on $200 billion more in goods, in addition to the $34 billion already set, would likely mean that nearly all Chinese products would face some import tax-though this depends on whether or not the new tariffs are on goods already taxed.

"This president has promised, going back to June of 2016, that he would use the Section 301 to crack down on China's unfair trade practices", Navarro said on Tuesday.

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