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Trump Trade Adviser Doesn't Know About iPhone Trade Exemption

Trump escalates China trade war with extra tariffs

There is no end in sight to the trade fight, as both sides continue to up the ante.

On Monday night, Trump told his trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, to target an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods for 10 percent tariffs. The fifth round, meanwhile, are the hypothetical additional tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products that Trump has threatened to impose if Beijing retaliates to the fourth round. That sum approaches the roughly US$500 billion in total annual Chinese exports to the United States.

The index, based on 30 stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange, is mired in its longest losing streak in 15 months, with Boeing and Caterpillar - two multinationals that get at least 10 per cent of sales from China - accounting for the bulk of the losses.

Last Friday, Mr Trump said he was pushing ahead with a 25 per cent tariff on US$50 billion worth of Chinese products, prompting Beijing to respond in kind.

White House trade advisor Peter Navarro told reporters on Tuesday that it's China who has more to lose in any trade war, . highlighting that China's exports to the US exceeded the amount of goods exported from the U.S.to China. Shanghai stocks plunged to two-year lows. The Dow tumbled 287.26 points or 1.2 percent to 24,700.21, while the Nasdaq fell 21.44 points or 0.3 percent to 7,725.58 and the S&P 500 slid 11.18 points or 0.4 percent to 2,762.57. USA bond yields fell in a flight to safety. Agricultural commodities, which have been targeted by China, fell sharply, chief among them soybeans, which fell to their lowest level on spot markets since December 2007.

"If the US becomes irrational and issues this list, China will have no choice but to adopt strong countermeasures of the same amount and quality", the ministry statement said. China couldn't come close to matching America's tariffs on $450 billion of Chinese exports.

Mr Trump has raised trade tensions on other fronts as well.

Adding to already deep tensions, the Trump administration released a scathing report late Tuesday in Washington that accused China of pursuing policies that threaten U.S. economic and national security.

In a post illustrated with an unflattering picture of Trump with his hair flying in the wind, the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily said on its WeChat account that China had the confidence and the ability to win the trade battle. Surely, a US-China trade war will have an adverse impact among their trading partners, including the Philippines. "I don't think we're in a suicide pact on this, so I suspect we're not going to cause the economies to collapse". That would leave less than $100 billion in USA goods to subject to a tariff hike, far short of the $200 billion Trump is threatening. That doesn't mean there isn't one, but it's not a good sign for Apple that one of President Trump's top advisers on trade and tariffs is unaware of it.

The report also lists a "wide range of coercive and intrusive regulatory gambits to force the transfer of foreign technologies and [intellectual property] to Chinese competitors, often in exchange for access to the vast Chinese market".

Analysts say Beijing is determined to develop its technological prowess and create world-leading companies in such fields as robotics and electric cars under a program it calls "China 2025".

Beijing has mounted campaigns against Japanese and South Korean companies in the past after diplomatic disputes.

But looking at just trade between the two countries, the picture is even more equitable.

The US footwear industry's business and trade association has issued a strongly worded response to President Donald Trump's allegation that Canadians are smuggling shoes across the border to avoid paying tariffs. The risk of contagion comes from financial markets, they believe, as sharp selloffs could hit consumer and business confidence.