Mr Trump spoke yesterday as his administration prepared to apply 25 per cent tariffs to $200 billion of Chinese goods, in addition to levies that have been applied already to $50 billion of Chinese goods.
The administration could decide to begin taxing the imports - equal to almost 40 percent of all the goods China sold the United States a year ago - after a public comment period ends on Thursday. Earlier speculation was that those tariffs, proposed in July, would take effect in early October, though trade associations have been gearing up for the announcement to come as early as the end of this week.
The presidential tweet is the latest salvo in a dispute between the Trump administration and companies that fear tariffs will hurt their business.
"To a certain extent it's going to be up to China", he said. And I hate to say that, but behind that, there's another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want. "That changes the equation".
President Trump on Saturday took aim at Apple after the tech giant said the White House's proposed tariffs on China could result in price hikes on popular consumer devices like AirPods, the company's wireless headphones, and the Apple Watch.
In a Saturday morning tweet, Mr. Trump said that if Apple wants to avoid tariffs on its products, it should make those devices in the US rather than China.
Apple said the tariffs would raise the cost of its USA operations and put it at a disadvantage to foreign rivals.
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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 global trade for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, said by phone. All Apple had to do to avoid import taxes was to rebuild all of its manufacturing in the U.S. "Start building new plants now", he tweeted. By 2021, based on International Monetary Fund economic forecasts, the US would lose about 1 percent of its annual output or about $230 billion while China would lose 0.6 percent of its $18 trillion economy that year or $110 billion.
The tariffs would potentially hurt U.S. companies that import everything from handbags to bicycle tires.
He added: "We've taxed them $50 billion that's on technology".
The label of a Washington D.C. sweatshirt bears a U.S. flag but says "Made in China" at a souvenir stand in Washington, U.S. January 14, 2011.
For the Trump administration, Friday began with sunny signs for the labor market before Trump's hawkish trade-war rhetoric clouded the outlook.
"We are puzzled as to why the Administration may be using tariffs in part to re-engineer global ICT (information, communication and technology) supply chains that have served United States companies so well".
It also said that every Apple product "contains parts or materials from the United States and is made with equipment from US-based suppliers".