Running Out of Tariff Options, China Takes Aim at American Companies

President Donald Trump wants to move forward with tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods despite new overtures to the Chinese from the Treasury Department.

The list of affected devices includes some of Apple's most popular offerings.

In a survey by two American chambers of commerce in China, almost two-thirds of USA firms who responded said the waves of new tariffs have harmed their business. Nevertheless, Trump quietly ordered the new tariffs yesterday, according to Bloomberg.

Trump appeared nonchalant about whether China met with his trade representatives to make a deal. Trump may be running low on products he can target without significant backlash from major US companies and consumers, two of the people said.

However, notably absent from the list is some of Apple's best-selling devices, including ones from the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook lines.

It said the timing for activating the additional tariffs was still unclear.

With these latest Trump tariffs just now going into effect, it's not yet known when price hikes on the Apple products will begin.

The Trump administration had invited Chinese officials to restart trade talks, the White House's top economic adviser said on Wednesday, news that gave a lift to Asian stocks, including Chinese shares and the yuan currency.

Another round of talks was jump-started this year by Mnuchin, who traveled to Beijing with Kudlow and several other senior officials to try to cut a deal with China's vice premier, Liu He.

China welcomed on Thursday a U.S. offer to hold fresh trade talks, adding that the two are discussing the details and providing some hope the world's top economies could step back from the brink of an all-out trade war.

China is clearly under economic duress as its economy slows and the next round of 25 percent tariffs targeting US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods are made ready for launch in Washington.

The White House is under enormous pressure from United States companies to resolve its differences with China swiftly before either country imposes more tariffs or restrictions that these firms argue could hurt growth and lead to lost American jobs.

The White House believes China will wave the white flag after the next round of tariffs on $200 billion in goods, said William Zarit, the chamber's chairman.

President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Thursday that the United States holds the upper hand in talks.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Wednesday invited Chinese officials to a new round of talks later this month over USA threatened tariffs on Chinese exports worth $200 billion, and a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters Thursday that Beijing welcomed the invitation.

U.S. stocks sank on the news.

The White House has sought to pressure Beijing to reduce its trade surplus with America and protect intellectual property rights of USA companies, which it says are abused in China.

The talks could stave off the growing costs for American firms, though the two sides have failed to reach an agreement over several rounds of negotiations in spring and summer.


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