U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he will impose 10 percent U.S. tariffs on about $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, but he spared smart watches from Apple (AAPL.O) and Fitbit (FIT.N) Inc and other consumer products such as bicycle helmets and baby auto seats.
Alleging that China has been unwilling to change its unfair trade practices, Trump said the new additional tariff structure would be effective September 24 from when it would be at 10 percent until the year end, but would increase to 25 per cent level from January 1.
"We stand ready to negotiate with China any time if they are willing to move towards serious talks to remedy trade problems", White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Monday in NY. Apple Inc. said last month the proposed duties on US$200 billion cover a wide range of products used in its USA operations.
The trade war measures against China are only one expression of this process.
The administration's proposal for the tariffs on $200 billion of products drew protest from technology companies earlier this year, but the final list of taxed devices described by the official avoids many big consumer brand names and products.
"China, however, still refuses to change its practices and indeed recently imposed new tariffs in an effort to hurt the United States economy", Trump said.
Rather, the United States unilaterally abrogated the treaty in order to strengthen the strategic position of the USA in the Middle East by countering the influence of Iran, and because European corporations stood to benefit from the opening up of new economic opportunities in that country at the expense of their U.S. rivals.
China wants talks based on 'mutual trust, ' said a foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang. "I think that kind of tactic is not going to work with China", Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of China's securities regulator, said at a conference in the port city of Tianjin.
The United States had proposed the talks, but at the same time moved forward with planning additional tariffs on some $200 billion of Chinese products.
However, this latest round is the biggest to date, and unlike the earlier rounds this latest list targets consumer goods, such as luggage and furniture.
In proceeding with additional tariffs, Trump ignored pleas from hundreds of USA companies who opposed the new levies at public hearings last month.
"Our concern with these tariffs is that the USA will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower U.S. growth and competitiveness and higher prices for United States consumers", Apple said in a letter. He has not been satisfied with the talks with China on this.
Beijing has already said it will retaliate for the new round of tariffs. "If countries will not make fair deals with us, they will be 'Tariffed!'".
The U.S. economy appears strong enough to withstand damage from the tariff battle, he said.
Excluding fuel, import prices rose just 1.3 per cent over the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. China's economy is slowing, with consumers holding back and infrastructure spending dropping sharply.
Beijing has rejected pressure from the United States to roll back plans for state-led development of Chinese global champions in robotics, artificial intelligence and other fields.
"If countries will not make fair deals with us, they will be 'Tariffed!'" While USA inflation has continued to rise steadily albeit modestly, firms across the country report lost businesses, layoffs and possible bankruptcies as input costs rise and exports fall.
The tariffs also highlighted the importance of regional trade agreements such as the CPTTP (trans-Pacific trade) agreement and New Zealand's arrangements with Europe "because they of course give New Zealand protection against this sort of thing happening to us", Parker said.