Rampell: Trump promised U.S. farmers 'smarter' trade deals

The Trump administration is poised to impose 25 percent penalties this week on $200bn worth of Chinese goods

Washington, Sep 8 (IANS) US President Donald Trump's proposed $200 billion tariffs on China-make products will make Apple Watch, AirPods headphones, HomePod smart speaker, Macs and key computer parts more expensive, the company has said. China has threatened retaliation, which could include action against USA companies operating there.

"That totally changes the equation", Trump said.

The $200 billion list, which includes some consumer products such as cameras and recording devices, luggage, handbags, tires and vacuum cleaners, would be subject to tariffs of 10 percent to 25 percent.

Trump said he was not prepared to make a deal with China "that they'd like to make".

Tech companies are also weighing in, with HPE, Cisco, Dell, and Juniper penning a letter to US Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer asking him to hold off on imposing additional tariffs on networking gear, arguing the penalties would only serve to hurt their business in the US. The administration has asserted that Trump's tariffs would force China to trade on more favorable terms with the United States. Additional U.S. tariffs are certain to trigger Chinese retaliation, though China's smaller volume of American imports means that it can't match Trump's tariffs on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

There was no indication in the comments made by Trump on Friday as to which items would be targeted in a future round of tariffs, as most seafood products imported from China already have been slapped with higher tariffs. On Twitter, Trade lawyer Scott Lincicome pointed out that an iPhone would be more expensive to manufacture here in the United States, citing a Marketplace report from 2014 that suggested that the component cost of an iPhone in China was around $190 per phone.

China has retaliated against those already in effect with tariffs of its own against U.S. imports targeting, among other things, agricultural produce and seafood.

Now imagine if, before the end of the year, a base 13-inch MacBook Pro that would normally cost $US1300 ($1818) is suddenly priced closer to $US1600 ($2237) after the cost increase from added tariffs gets passed along to consumers. But, as the Guardian noted, Trump's tariffs are not working.

The impact for USA consumers could range from $2.3 billion up to $5.7 billion depending on how high the tariff goes.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday the trade gap jumped 9.5 percent to $50.1 billion, increasing for a second straight month, suggesting that trade could be a drag on economic growth in the third quarter.

Kudlow, who heads the National Economic Council, separately told CNBC that the administration was still talking with China about trade issues but that so far China had not met US requests.

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