Trump tells Apple to move plants from China to US

Mae Love
September 10, 2018

China's trade surplus with the United States ballooned to a new record US$31 billion in August despite a raft of USA tariffs, official data showed Saturday, adding fuel to the flames of a searing trade war.

Even with USA tariffs targeting US$50 billion of Chinese exports in effect for their first full month in August, China's exports to the United States still accelerated, growing 13.2 percent from a year earlier from 11.2 percent in July.

‪"Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China - but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive", he wrote.

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.

In the letter, Apple asks the U.S. government to "reconsider these measures and work to find other, more effective solutions that leave the United States economy and USA consumer stronger and healthier than ever before".

China's trade surplus with the United States widened to a record in August even as the country's export growth slowed slightly, an outcome that could push President Donald Trump to turn up the heat on Beijing in their cantankerous trade dispute.

Following meetings with the Trump administration earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that he was confident tariffs would not affect the device. It makes many of its products for the USA market in China, and it also sells gadgets including the iPhone in China, making them a potential target for Chinese retaliation against the Trump tariffs. The tariffs would pressure China to stop that behavior, the administration has said.

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That would cover virtually all the goods imported from the world's second largest economy.

That's what the company told US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a letter dated Wednesday, a last-ditch appeal to avoid additional tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion that could go into effect as soon as Friday.

In August 2018, the surplus was $31,05 billion, up from $28.09 billion in July.

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.

"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 U.S. companies so well".

The President believes that the easiest way to mitigate this is to manufacture products in the US.

"Tariffs increase the cost of our US operations, divert our resources and disadvantage Apple foreign competitors", the company said.

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