The election of Donald Trump to the office of President of the United States has raised eyebrows the world over, but did you ever expect that it may have a knock-on affect for those wishing to buy iPhones in China?
No, probably not, but that’s the surreal position we now find ourselves in after the state-run Chinese newspaper reported that the country could cause problems for Apple should Trump follow through on threats to engage in a trade war with the country.
Donald Trump had previously said that, if elected, he would take a tougher stance on trade with the aim of reviving manufacturing in the United States by applying a 45-percent tariff to Chinese imports. If he does try to play hard ball with China however, he apparently runs the risk of causing problems for U.S. companies such as Apple and Boeing.
If Trump imposes a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports, China-US trade will be paralyzed. China will take a tit-for-tat approach then. 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 newspaper further pointed out that “The new president will be condemned for his recklessness, ignorance and incompetence and bear all the consequences,” should he proceed with his pre-election pitch.
At this point it is important to remember that this information comes from a state-backed newspaper, meaning that while these quotes are coming from the newspaper they may as well be a straight up government statement. Clearly someone in China is firing across Trump’s bow before he takes office. Even if Trump did try to follow through on his promise however, it’s possible he wouldn’t have the authority to make the changes he’d require, with the publisher quick to point out that fact.
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.
According to media, Chinese President, Xi Jinping, spoke with Trump via telephone call on Monday, telling the President-elect that “co-operation is the only correct choice for China and the United States.”
(Source: Global Times)
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