Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

China vows to respond if USA takes new steps on trade

China vows to respond if USA takes new steps on trade

Apple, in pushing back on the tariff proposal, said it bought more than $50 billion worth of components from US-based suppliers a year ago and that it's the largest United States corporate tax payer.

"It would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the US given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units and its competitive segment", the company said.

Ford earlier announced it would not ship the cars from China to the United States because tariffs would make them too expensive, prompting a Trump tweet saying "This is just the beginning".

Apple, like other tech giants, has benefited from the last year's overhaul to the US tax code, and the company has committed to returning much of the $252 billion in cash it held overseas.

The Focus Active was set to be the first Chinese-made Ford offered in the US, while General Motors now imports the Buick Envision SUV and Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid. China is retaliating with its own tariffs on USA products.

With Ford joining Apple in criticizing President Trump's tariffs, the pressure on the administration to back down and de-escalate the trade war is perhaps greater than ever.

President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that there's a simple solution: just make the products in the U.S. where there'd be zero tariffs. A message left with Apple's press office seeking comment on Trump's remarks wasn't immediately returned.

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Mr Trump last Friday threatened duties on another US$267 billion (S$368 billion) of goods on top of US$200 billion in imports primed for levies in coming days.

Auto industry analyst Ed Kim told the Guardian that Trump's tariffs have, effectively, ruined Ford's plan for the Focus.

The company said about 80% of the vehicles Ford sells in the United States are built domestically.

"Without the tariffs, the business case was pretty solid for that model in the U.S. market", he said.

In April, Ford announced plans to stop making cars in the United States - except for the iconic Mustang - and to focus on more profitable SUVs.

The US and China have activated additional tariffs on $50bn (£38.63bn) of each other's goods since July as trade friction between the world's two biggest economies worsened. The Trump administration is poised to decide whether to extend that to another $200 billion of Chinese goods.

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