China's trade surplus with United States hit new record in August

A man walks past a screen at the Indonesia Stock Exchange building in Jakarta Indonesia

A man walks past a screen at the Indonesia Stock Exchange building in Jakarta Indonesia

Since then, though, Trump has threatened another $267 billion of tariffs on China, a move revealed Friday that could cover virtually all Chinese-made goods entering the United States.

Cell phones, the biggest US import from China, have so far been spared, but would be hit if Trump activates the new $267 billion tariff list.

The US-China trade spat escalated on July 6 when US President Donald Trump slapped tariffs on USD 34 billion in Chinese goods, triggering a dollar-for-dollar response from Beijing. Both countries have already slapped levies on $50 billion of each other's exports, and China promised on Thursday to respond to any U.S. escalation with "necessary countermeasures".

Earlier on Friday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Bloomberg Television the administration would evaluate public comments before making decisions on the $US200 billion tariff list.

At the same time, Apple is already using components sourced from USA manufacturers in some of its products.

While China's trade surplus with the United States grew again, it remained stable with the rest of the world at US$27.9 billion in August.

US President Donald Trump waves during joint statements with China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.

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While U.S. businesses in China do not yet appear to face widespread retaliation, some company officials have said they are bracing for blowback.

In a letter addressed to the Office of U.S. Trade Representative, the Cupertino company said: "It is hard to see how tariffs that hurt USA companies and United States consumers will advance the government's objectives with respect to China's technology policies".

Both Apple and Intel are warning that President Trump's trade war with China will increase prices for consumer electronics, including the Apple Watch and AirPods.

This week, Apple said that a proposed new round of $200 billion in additional tariffs on Chinese imports would raise prices on some of its products, including the Apple Watch and the Mac mini. "These are taxes and they're going to find their way into the pocket book of folks around the country", French said.

"We'll continue to talk to China", he said at the White House on Wednesday.

Wu Baiyi, director of the Institute of American Studies at the state-run China Academy of Social Sciences, downplayed any impact of a new NAFTA deal on U.S. "Lower barriers, open markets, quit stealing IP and technology", he said, using an abbreviation for intellectual property. No surprise that U.S. CEOs are losing sleep over all the unknowns being thrown into the mix.

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