Trump calls on Apple to move production from China to US

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He added that the $200 billion will "take place very soon, depending on what happens".

Earlier this week, Apple said in a regulatory filing that the president's proposed $200 billion in fresh tariffs on China would cover "a wide range of Apple products", from its Mac Mini computer to cables, chargers and laptop cases.

Speak on Air Force 1, Trump is talking tariffs.

"China, right now, is a far bigger problem", Trump said. "And I hate to say this, but behind that is another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want. That totally changes the equation".

US President Donald Trump called for Apple to make its products in the US instead of China to avoid suffering the consequences of his trade war with Beijing. 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.

That said, Apple didn't give an estimate of how much the proposed tariffs would contribute to the increased costs of its products.

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

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 worldwide trade for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, said by phone.

The U.S. already imposes a 25 percent tariff on around $50 billion of Chinese goods, principally technology imports. But Beijing will struggle to keep responding in kind as it imports less than United States dollars 200 billion in U.S. goods per year.

If eventually carried out, Trump's latest threat could result in tariffs on all Chinese goods entering the United States, an unprecedented escalation of his trade war with China.

"Tariffs increase the cost of our US operations, divert our resources and disadvantage Apple foreign competitors", the company said. Still, disagreements between the two major economic powers run deeper than just the trade balance and tensions remain over limits on US firms' access to Chinese markets, intellectual property protection, technology transfers and investment.

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. The company said on its website that it spent over $50 billion for goods purchased from USA suppliers a year ago. The tariffs would pressure China to stop that behaviour, the administration has said. "It's just another indication we're not out of the woods yet", she said.