Investors brace for US-China tariff showdown, US payrolls in focus


The figures were released hours after President Donald Trump threatened to slap tariffs on the totality of Chinese goods imported into the United States, worth half a trillion dollars.

A "wide range" of Apple Inc products including the Apple Watch would be affected by proposed USA tariffs on Chinese goods, the company told United States trade officials, without mentioning any potential impact on its iPhone cash cow.

It would also be in addition to tariffs his administration has already imposed on $50 billion in Chinese imports, for which Beijing has retaliated with an equal amount of import taxes on US goods.

Several tech giants, including Intel Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc., are seeking to persuade the U.S. Trade Representative to drop the proposed tariffs on imported products they say could cost the U.S. leadership in fifth-generation wireless technology.

Trump's comments come after Apple expressed dissatisfaction over his administration's China tariffs. "That totally changes the equation".

Beijing has warned that it would hit back with duties on $60 billion in American products - a much smaller figure that shows China will not be able to match United States tariffs dollar-for-dollar.

The White House has accused China of stealing US intellectual property and forcing American companies to share their technology with Chinese companies.

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The U.S. Trade Representative's public notice and comment period for the proposed additional tariffs ended Thursday.

Many U.S. executives and trade experts have opposed using tariffs as a negotiating tool with China, but Berman doesn't see the issue in black and white. If that pace continued for the remainder of this year, Chinese imports would top $548bn - leaving Trump a bit short of complete coverage of Chinese goods.

"The imposition of additional duties on the raw materials and chemicals used by Rockland will exacerbate the injury inflicted by China's unfair practices and will cause disproportionate economic harm to Rockland", Berman said during the hearing. Apple said the tariffs would raise the cost of its US operations and put it at a disadvantage to foreign rivals.

He previously had threatened to hit 100 percent of imports from China if the country failed to address U.S. concerns over theft of USA technology and barriers to American goods and investments. According to CNBC, the company said that the President's proposed tariffs would impact various Apple products, such as the Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, Mac, Mini, Apple Pencil, and chargers and adapters for a number of gadgets.

Trump has boasted that trade wars are "easy to win" and warned he would hit virtually all Chinese imports if Beijing does not back down and take steps to reduce its $335 billion surplus with the US.

The administration has a greater goal than just driving down the yawning trade deficit with China - to force Beijing to open up its market to American businesses, and curb its acquisition of American technology.

President Donald Trump suggested that Apple could face no taxes if the company moves its manufacturing process to the USA from China. Intel Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and others argued in their filings that the tariffs could hamper US competitiveness in 5G, an emerging wireless technology the White House has set up as critical to national security.