The imports are equal to almost 40 percent of all the goods China sold the United States a year ago. All Apple has to do is "start building new plants now". "Exciting!" Trump said Saturday in a tweet aimed at the Cupertino, California, company.
One has to wonder why Trump routinely steps on good news about the economy by pressing trade wars, which most CEOs are firmly against.
Trump told reporters traveling with him to Fargo, North Dakota that "behind that, there's another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want". Apple, which is set to unveil new iPhones and other products on September 12, said this would put it at a disadvantage relative to foreign competitors, and that the USA would be hit the hardest by taxing these categories.
The tariffs would have an impact on some of the smallest contributors to Apple's total revenue.
In a tweet, Trump said there's an "easy solution" to Apple's potential woes that also came with a tax break: "Make your products in the United States instead of China".
On Apple's most recent earnings call in July, Chief Executive Tim Cook said the company could face such tariffs "related to data centres". "Tariffs of this scope would mean higher prices on virtually everything sold in US stores and fewer American jobs", the association warned.
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Trump's decision to double-down on his uncompromising stance toward China means little chance of an early resolution of the standoff between the world's two largest economies. It also has a sizable business in China, which the Chinese could target in retaliation for US trade actions.
Trump is getting a last-minute earful from prominent technology companies and retailers as he considers whether to follow through with his plan to ratchet up tariffs on Chinese exports.
While the President often brags about his accomplishments via Twitter, official data shows that China's trade surplus with the United States is greater than ever. The tariffs would pressure China to stop that behavior, the administration has said.
"We are puzzled as to why the Administration may be using tariffs in part to re-engineer global ICT (information, communication and technology) supply chains that have served USA companies so well".
Height expects Trump to reiterate his intention to proceed with the next round of China tariffs affecting roughly $200 billion of imports now that the public comment period has concluded.
Wang Huiyao, director of the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing-based think tank, said that even though it is still unclear whether the new tariffs would be set at 10 percent or 25 percent, it would be highly disruptive to the global supply chain and would affect many countries. Earlier this year, the company said that as part of tax reform it would spend $350 billion in the USA over the next five years.