Response pledged if USA levies new tariffs

Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that Apple should make products in the United States if it wants to avoid tariffs on Chinese imports.

Trump has been locked in a trade dispute with Beijing over China's policy of forcing U.S. companies to hand over trade secrets, as a price of doing business in China.

Trump told reporters Friday that his administration was days away from imposing a new round of tariffs on imports worth $200 billion, and that it could follow up with another round of tariffs on goods worth an additional $267 billion.

Apple, the world's most valuable company, claims products including its Watch, AirPods headphones, HomePod smart speakers and Mac mini computers likely would be hit by the tariffs.

Zhang said the impact from US tariffs on China's exports would likely be limited over the next few months.

Mobile phones, the biggest U.S. import from China, have so far been spared, but would be engulfed if Trump activates the $US267 billion tariff list.

Notably, Apple did not cite the iPhone as a product which may be impacted.

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This would further escalate the trade war Trump is leading against China.

Apple, like other tech giants, has benefited from the last year's overhaul to the US tax code, and the company has committed to returning much of the $252 billion in cash it held overseas.

At the same time, Apple is already using components sourced from US manufacturers in some of its products.

Washington has long criticised China's huge trade surplus with the United States and has demanded Beijing reduce it.

Chen Wenling, chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said China still needs to make long-term preparations for the Sino-US trade spat, which may require many years to resolve. The company is concerned, however, about the Trump administration's proposal to add 25 percent duties on another $200 billion in Chinese goods, including a wider assortment of consumer-related items.

The Chinese trade gap with the United States was up from July's $28 billion and June's $29 billion. "These are taxes and they're going to find their way into the pocket book of folks around the country", French said.

The dispute dates back to January, when the U.S. slapped controversial tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels. Imports from the United States reached US$13.3 billion, a two per cent increase from the previous year.

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