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China Threatens Retaliation if President Trump's New $200 Billion Tariffs Go Ahead

08 September 2018

US President Donald Trump is threatening to tack import duties on $267bn of imported Chinese tech gear and other goods - on top of the $200bn already planned.

Trump said on Air Force One that he was ready to launch tariffs on 200 billion dollars worth of imports in the coming days. "And I hate to say this, but behind that is another $267bn ready to go on short notice if I want". "That changes the equation".

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If the president follows through, the threatened tariffs and those already in place would more than cover the value of all goods the United States buys from China, according to USA government data from previous year. Trump said earlier Friday that his administration could "very soon" impose those tariffs.

Stocks dipped after the comments, with the S&P500 off 0.2 percent. United States stocks erased gains after his trade-war rhetoric and headed for their first weekly decline in a month.

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His comments came as Apple warned that products made in China including the Apple Watch and Air Pods headphones would cost more if Donald Trump goes ahead with the $200bn tariffs.

These tariffs have not yet been applied, and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that Trump will not make a final decision on implementing them until after he evaluates comments from the public. The U.S. Trade Representative's office received almost 6,000 comments during the public comment period on the proposed levies, which ended Thursday night. It said in a late submission that its AirPods headphones, some of Apple's Beats headphones, and its new HomePod smart speaker would face levies, causing its shares to slip in late trading. The administration should cease further tariffs actions and give another shot at talks for a trade deal with China, it said.

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"Our concern with these tariffs is that the USA will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower US growth and competitiveness and higher prices for US consumers", Apple said in the letter. "These are taxes and they're going to find their way into the pocket book of folks around the country", French said. Among the equipment hit were a number of components and devices used by U.S. tech firms, including chips and networking gear produced in Chinese factories. Those tactics, the Office of the US Trade Representative has alleged, include stealing trade secrets through computer hacking and forcing US companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market.