Trump turns up the heat in trade conflict with China

Muriel Colon
September 8, 2018

"The $200 billion we're talking about could happen very soon", Trump said. Earlier speculation was that those tariffs, proposed in July, would take effect in early October, though trade associations have been gearing up for the announcement to come as early as the end of this week.

These US goods include soybeans and beef - a direct shot at supporters of President Donald Trump in the US farm belt.

"To a certain extent it's going to be up to China", he said.

Mr. Trump told reporters on Air Force One that his plans to slaps taxes of up to 25 percent on Chinese imports would depend on the choices made by that country's leaders.

"That totally changes the equation", Trump said.

President Trump said Friday that he has another $267 billion in tariffs ready to slap on China, calling his testy relationship with that nation "a far bigger problem" than dealing with Russian Federation right now.

Many American companies that rely on targeted Chinese imports are bracing for the next round of tariffs to hit, with some wondering whether they can absorb the higher costs or instead will need to pass them along to their customers - or find alternatives suppliers outside China.

Apple said the tariffs would raise the cost of its USA operations and put it at a disadvantage to foreign rivals.

Kudlow, who heads the National Economic Council, told CNBC the administration was still talking with China about trade issues but so far China had not met United States requests.

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

As their attempts to head off a new and deeper round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports seem unsuccessful, industry groups in the United States are bracing themselves for a grim winter, with American consumers likely to bear the brunt of higher prices as the festive season approaches.

That resulted in China posting a smaller overall trade surplus of US$27.91 billion for the month.

The Trump administration has already slapped duties on US$50 billion of Chinese exports since July, which spurred immediate in-kind retaliation from Beijing. "Now, they've got to treat us fairly", he said, and again threatened to impose duties on cars produced in Canada.

Apple doesn't actually run its own factories in China, but uses contract manufacturers like Foxconn to build the iPhone and other products.

The yuan sunk almost 9 percent against the USA dollar from April through July, according to China's Wind Information data. The tariffs would pressure China to stop that behaviour, the administration has said.

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

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