IPhone buyers could 'very easily' stand paying 10% more with China tariff

Roman Schwartz
November 29, 2018

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Trump said that the only deal he would take from China would be to open up to USA competition. -China summit, the top US trade official is blasting Beijing for imposing "egregious" taxes on American-made cars. Trump has faced calls to take a harder line on Saudi Arabia, and the prince in particular, after a Saudi journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi was killed by Saudi nationals at a consulate in Turkey in October.

The World Trade Organisation has revealed tariff measures imposed by G20 countries have reached record highs and now cover $481 billion worth of global trade.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Monday, Trump said he expects to move forward with boosting tariff levels on $200 billion of Chinese goods, adding that he thought it was "highly unlikely" he would accept Beijing's request to hold off on the increase.

China aims to persuade the U.S. not to impose the larger tariffs, but Trump said it was "highly unlikely" he would back down. Consumers are likely to feel a bigger pinch in 2019.

Silicon Valley in particular seems to be bracing for more tariffs.

Trump thinks his tariffs are paid by exporters, referring to the money "pouring into our treasury right now". Such taxes could not only hurt consumers but also stifle niche areas like car-collecting and restoring classic cars. And in the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement, now called the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement, countries drew up what's called a side-letter on autos to address the issue separately.

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Washington and Beijing remain at odds on key issues such as USA accusations of intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer, he said.

The plant closings and layoffs announced by General Motors this week are putting another spotlight on the issue of tariffs.

The best hope for an unexpectedly positive outcome is that the Chinese could come up with something that appeals to the Trump ego by appearing to give him a victory without China actually making meaningful concessions.

Mr. Trump noted the possible auto tariffs as a negotiating tool with the European Union in The Wall Street Journal interview. "Although the current economic situation in the U.S. is good, people can not rule out the possibility of another - I don't want to use the word "crisis" - a similar situation to what happened 10 years ago", he said. "Whether or not there is some interaction, I'm not going to rule that out".

Late on Monday, though, Mr Trump warned that he was prepared to raise the stakes even higher, hitting Apple phones and laptops made in China if Mr Xi did not offer what he considered a "fair deal" with the U.S. on trade.

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