Apple should make its products in United States to avoid tariff hit

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President Trump on Saturday took aim at Apple after the tech giant said the White House's proposed tariffs on China could result in price hikes on popular consumer devices like AirPods, the company's wireless headphones, and the Apple Watch.

The tweet came after Apple warned that Trump's proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese-made products would affect the company.

The office of the US trade representative Thursday finished accepting comments on the next round of tariffs, which could hit up to $200 billion in Chinese products any day.

Analysts say China has only offered to reduce the USA trade deficit by buying more from America - leaving unaddressed Mr Trump's wider strategic goal of forcing it to also open up its markets to U.S. businesses, and review rules that see United States firms in China forced to share technology with Chinese partners.

The tariffs are top of mind for Apple chief executive Tim Cook, who has personally lobbied Trump for months on issues of taxes and trade, even dining with the president and first lady Melania Trump at the White House in August.

There has been no announcement yet of fresh United States tariffs, which could range from 10 per cent to as much as 25 per cent, and come any time.

Trump initiated the trade war to punish Beijing for what it says are China's predatory tactics to try to supplant USA technological supremacy.

Levying duties on all Chinese purchases would hit "every aspect of our American lifestyle - so the clothes that we put on our back, the food that we eat, the cars that we drive, theshoes that we wear", Hun Quach, vice president of global trade for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, said by phone.

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In the early rounds of the hostilities, the administration targeted Chinese industrial imports to try to spare American consumers from higher import costs. Now we've added another $200 billion.

It said some of the parts it relies on for product development, including processors and research equipment, would also be hit by the tariffs.

TRT World's Patrick Fok has more.

If the administration moved ahead, it would more than cover the entire value of goods imports from China, according to US government data from a year ago.

On Wednesday, Apple warned in a letter to the US trade representative that Apple's competitiveness could be hurt, leading to higher prices for consumers. The company has not announced plans to move manufacturing from China to the U.S.

The trade war could inflict further damage if it rattles financial markets, thereby hurting business confidence and potentially discouraging investment.

The U.S. imported US$505 billion of Chinese products in 2017, Census Bureau figures show. "But they won't be able to mitigate all the shocks".

Economists have noted that disruptions in supply chains are likely to be more company specific, and will take time to be reflected in broad economic data and corporate earnings reports. "People have been saying, 'I'm too tough on Canada, '" he said.

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