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Apple Watch, AirPods may be spared from Trump’s China tariffs

18 Septembre 2018

China vowed to retaliate after the U.S. administration said it will impose a 10% tariff on about $200 billion in Chinese goods next week and more than double the rate in 2019.

Trump said that the USA will immediately pursue additional tariffs on about $267 billion of Chinese imports if Beijing hits back to the $200 billion round.

Bloomberg news, siting five unidentified sources, said a product code that covers the Apple Watch, AirPods, and HomePod smart speaker, is not listed among some $200 billion in Chinese products subject to a new 10 percent tariff expected to be announced later this week.

Talks were meant to happen later this month between the US Treasury Minister, Steven Mnuchin, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, retailers, agricultural groups and some members of Trump's own Republican party have spoken out against his tariff campaign.

An official Chinese newspaper called for more aggressive measures to "make American pain worse" following tariff hikes by both sides on $50billion of each other's goods.

The officials told reporters the lower initial tariff rate would give USA businesses time to find new suppliers.

-China trade war by announcing new tariffs on about $200 billion of Chinese imports.

Word of Trump's latest tariff plans has weighed on Wall Street since last week, with markets in a wait-and-see mode. China has retaliated in kind, hitting American soybeans, among other goods, in a shot at the president's supporters in the US farm belt.

So far in an ongoing trade war, China has matched new United States tariffs on goods.

Analysts say the People's Bank of China probably will not greenlight much more tumbling, since a fading renminbi (RMB) could spook more assets out of the country.

"We deeply regret this", China's commerce ministry said Tuesday. "I think that kind of tactic is not going to work with China", Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of China's securities regulator, said at a conference in the port city of Tianjin.

The Chinese finance ministry did not provide a detailed list of products to be hit by the new tariffs on Monday.

"President Trump's reckless and will create lasting harm to communities across the country", said Dean Garfield, president of the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents major tech firms.

For example, higher prices for raw materials in the United States could flow through into higher prices for food packaging which could impact the price of goods in New Zealand supermarkets, he said.

That doesn't quite compare to the $200 billion targeted by US tariffs, but it shows that if the Trump administration wants a trade war, China's willing to get its hands dirty as well.

The product code covering those devices was included on a preliminary list of target product classes released by the Trump administration in July. "More generally, the direction of worldwide trade policy in the United States continued to be a source of uncertainty for the outlook for the world economy".

"Our concern with these tariffs is that the United States will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower USA growth and competitiveness and higher prices for U.S. consumers", Apple said in a letter commenting on the proposal. They are to rise to 25 per cent on January 1.

But a senior Trump administration official said Monday that, while it seeks changes in China's trade policies, the "not trying to constrain China's growth".

Apple Watch, AirPods may be spared from Trump’s China tariffs