Trump to Apple: make your products in the US!

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

The US imported $505bn in goods from China last year, and this year until the end of July, Chinese imports are almost 9% higher, according to official US data.

The president, speaking to reporters aboard Air Force Once, said he's in the middle of reshaping America's trade policy on a number of fronts, from Canada and Mexico nearby, to China, South Korea and Japan overseas. Last year, Apple invested $1 billion in Corning, which manufactures the glass used in screens for the iPhone, and Trump said that CEO Tim Cook committed to building "three big plants, attractive plants" in the US.

In short, the White House is mulling slapping tariffs on $200bn of Chinese kit imported into the States - and the Command-in-Chief is suggesting ballooning that figure to $467bn. Beijing says it will retaliate.

The administration says eliminating the trade deficit will put the economy on a sustainable path of faster growth, an argument that has been dismissed by economists as flawed given constraints such as low productivity and slow population growth. It could also devalue its currency, to make exports cheaper in the United States.

Apple was among several tech companies to submit comments regarding the proposed tariffs. USA stocks erased gains after Trump's remarks. Imports from the United States reached $13.3 billion, a two percent increase from the previous year.

Mr Trump appears to be ignoring calls from American industry to take his foot off the tariff pedal. The Chinese government has said it would help local and even foreign businesses in the country mitigate the effects of the trade dispute. According to a report in The Verge, Apple asked that the USA revise its proposal and decline to place tariffs on the product categories that cover these devices. That would give financial markets a chance to digest the politically sensitive data before trading opens Monday.

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Canada Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said U.S. and Canadian technical officials worked through the night on a number of issues.

Apple also said that computer parts for its US operations would be hit by the tariffs. But trade data have yet to show a significant impact. Imports rose 20.9 percent to $189.5 billion, down from 21 percent.

When adjusted for inflation, the trade gap increased to a five-month high of $82.5 billion in July from $79.3 billion in June.

In its letter, Apple argued that the way US trade officials calculate the USA trade balance - attributing the entire value of a product to a country like China where final assembly happens - fails to reflect the true value that Apple generates in the United States.

The proposed tariff list includes thousands of different product categories, some of which cover electronic components and devices.

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