China's trade surplus with US hit new record in August

Trump signals escalation of trade war with China, says he has tariffs ready on another $267-billion of imports

China's trade surplus with the United States ballooned to a new record US$31 billion in August despite a raft of USA tariffs, official data showed Saturday, adding fuel to the flames of a searing trade war.

"The traditional method of calculating the USA trade balance attributes the entire value of our products to the country where final assembly is located, in most cases China".

Mr Trump has boasted that trade wars are "easy to win" and warned he would hit virtually all Chinese imports if Beijing does not back down and take steps to reduce its US$335 billion surplus with the US.

Trump's comments come after Apple expressed dissatisfaction over his administration's China tariffs. The company is concerned, however, about the Trump administration's proposal to add 25 percent duties on another $200 billion in Chinese goods, including a wider assortment of consumer-related items.

Apple did not disclose specific revenues for most of the affected products, but of those the Apple Watch may be the biggest seller.

President Trump's latest list of proposed tariffs on products manufactured in China would have a negative impact on some of Apple's most popular products.

Apple also said that computer parts for its USA operations would be hit by the tariffs.

Trump said Friday that tariffs on China worth $200 billion would "will take place very soon depending on what happens".

The company said the tariffs would "show up as a tax on United States consumers" and "increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives". Some components for Apple products, including glass from manufacturers like Corning, are made in the United States, the company has said.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in July that those measures had no effect on Apple.

"Semiconductors are America's fourth-largest export, and our industry has a global trade surplus of over $6 billion and a surplus with China of close to $2 billion in 2017", Intel's letter said.

Washington has long criticized China's huge trade surplus with the United States and has demanded Beijing reduce it.

"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 USA companies so well". Apple said it was "difficult to see" how tariffs would advance the government's goal.

"Tariffs increase the cost of our US operations, divert our resources and disadvantage Apple foreign competitors", the company said.

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