Laptops, Smartphones Among Next to Be Hit by Trump Tariffs

Cheryl Sanders
May 16, 2019

"I don't like tariffs because it's action, reaction, always", said Sen.

He went on to say: "We can make a deal with China tomorrow, before their companies start leaving so as not to lose United States of America business" and said it would be "game over" if the Federal Reserve "matched" Chinese support measures. Remarkably, Trump has the backing of some powerful Democrat lawmakers (most prominently New York's Chuck Schumer) and influential liberal columnists (notably NYT's Tom Friedman) as he seeks to wrest the initiative from China, which in the Trump narrative, has stolen a march over U.S. by literally stealing its technology. Both the United States and China have said they will resume talks in Beijing but with no date yet set, dealers are looking ahead to a possible meeting between Trump and Xi at the G20 in Japan at the end of June.

The president also acknowledged that USA farmers may be impacted by the trade war, saying that the administration would use income from the new levies to support the farmers.

On Wall Street, futures for the Standard & Poor's 500 index and Dow Jones industrial average were up less than 0.1%. This could have a great effect on companies that manufacture their laptops, smartphones, tablets or other electronics in China, such as Apple and Microsoft, as well as one company based overseas that ships to the sell their products.

More broadly, given that the United States and China comprise one-third of global economic growth, a trade dispute that hurts both countries naturally will reverberate across the global economy Of course, China has not been the only target of the Trump administration's protec-tionist bias.

China's finance ministry released a statement: "China's adjustment on additional tariffs is a response to US unilateralism and protectionism".

Trump on Monday said that his administration was planning to provide about $15 billion in aid to help US farmers whose products were targeted by Chinese retaliatory tariffs.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on May 10 that Trump had asked him to create a plan for supporting farmers.

Tariff increases already in place have disrupted trade in American soybeans and Chinese medical equipment.

Mnuchin said the agreement had seven chapters and was "very detailed". Cellphones and laptops would be included in that list but pharmaceuticals would be excluded, the office said.

The United States and China have so far exchanged tariffs on more than $360 billion in two-way trade.

Mnuchin's remarks dovetailed with a cooling of the Trump administration's rhetoric toward China after another round of tit-for-tat tariffs between the world's two largest economies and a selloff on global stock markets.

"Let's be blunt: it's a tax on the American consumer and the American manufacturer. who's paying about $1.4 billion a month in new tariffs", Democratic Senator Chris Coons said in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday. The Shanghai Composite Index ended up 1.9% at 2,938.68 while Tokyo's Nikkei advanced 0.6% to 21,188.56.

However, the onshore yuan weakened 0.1% to its lowest level since December 27, 2018, trading at 6.8874 per dollar, after China's Foreign Ministry said it hoped the United States does not "underestimate China's determination and will to safeguard its interests". "As for how they are pursued, I think that hinges upon further consultations between the two sides", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing on Tuesday, without giving details.

Sources have said talks stalled after China tried to delete commitments from a draft agreement that its laws would be changed to enact new policies on issues from intellectual property protection to forced technology transfers.

But other economists point out that the fallout of a prolonged trade war would be much bigger than the Oxford Economics forecast, which does not take into account the psychological side effects of the U.S.

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