China’s trade surplus with USA hits new record

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The Trump administration may be about to slap tariffs of up to 25 per cent on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods, escalating a confrontation between the world's two biggest economies and likely squeezing U.S. companies that import everything from handbags to bicycle tires.

The US has imposed $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods with another $200 billion in the final stages.

There was no indication in the comments made by Trump on Friday as to which items would be targeted in a future round of tariffs, as most seafood products imported from China already have been slapped with higher tariffs. The US imported $505 billion of goods from China last year and the figure is expected to rise this year.

Still, Apple's business would no doubt face some serious headwinds due to possible tariffs, and Apple continued on to say: "Our concern with these tariffs is that the U.S. will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower United States growth and competitiveness and higher prices for USA consumers".

The company is highly exposed to a trade war between the US and China.

Responding to this, Trump said that the company could avoid Chinese import tariffs by switching production to the US.

President Trump's latest list of proposed tariffs on products manufactured in China would have a negative impact on some of Apple's most popular products. And on September 7, he said he's ready to hit another $267 billion worth of Chinese imports with tariffs, with his underlings preparing the necessary paperwork.

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Notably, Apple did not cite the iPhone as a product which may be impacted. Last Friday, over 150 industry associations and four major tech companies wrote to the US Trade Representative urging moderation or requesting exemptions from tariffs.

The United States has demanded that China better protects American intellectual property, cut its USA trade surplus, allow U.S. companies greater access to its markets and roll back its high-technology industrial subsidy programs. Imports from the United States reached $13.3 billion, a 2% increase from the previous year.

Still, it has been cheaper for US consumers to buy Chinese goods with the weaker yuan. China has threatened retaliation, which could include action against U.S. companies operating there.

The yuan sunk almost 9 percent against the USA dollar from April through July, according to China's Wind Information data. For example, the proposed tariffs cover Apple Watch, which has become the top-selling smart-watch in the us and globally.

That said, Apple didn't give an estimate of how much the proposed tariffs would contribute to the increased costs of its products.

Economists and investors have, according to the Guardian, expressed concern over the standoff between the two countries, warning that the trade war could derail the global market and provoke more counter-tariffs to Trump tariffs.