China warns Apple and a number of other U.S. companies ‘will suffer’ if President-elect Donald Trump goes through with his campaign promises of a 45% tariff to be imposed on imports from China. Trump has also been quoted as saying China is a “currency manipulator.”
During the acrimonious race for the White House Trump repeatedly lashed out at China, vowing to punish Beijing with “defensive” 45% tariffs on Chinese imports and to officially declare it a currency manipulator.
“When they see that they will stop the cheating,” the billionaire Republican, who has accused Beijing of “the greatest theft in the history of the world”, told a rally in August.
Chinese newspaper Global Times warned in an editorial that “If Trump wrecks Sino-US trade, a number of US industries will be impaired. Finally the new president will be condemned for his recklessness, ignorance and incompetence.”
The paper warned such moves on Trump’s part would lead to “tit-for-tat” moves by China.
“A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus. US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and US soybean and maize imports will be halted. China can also limit the number of Chinese students studying in the US.”
The Times also claimed Trump will not have the power to impose such tariffs on Chinese goods:
To impose a 45 percent tariff on imports from China is merely campaign rhetoric. The greatest authority a US president has is to impose tariffs of up to 15 percent for 150 days on all imported goods and the limit can only be broken on the condition that the country is declared to be in a state of emergency. Other than that, a US president can only demand a tariff increase on individual commodities.
The Chinese market continues to be an important one for Apple, and it continues with its efforts to bolster its presence there. The company recently announced it will open a new R&D facility in Shenzhen to attract software developers. A weakened Chinese economy has led to China slipping behind Europe as Apple’s third-most important market, but Apple CEO Tim Cook remains optimistic about his company’s possibilities in the country.