China's trade surplus with United States hit new record in August

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The $200 billion we're talking about, could take place very soon, depending what happens with them.

The administration could decide to begin taxing the imports equal to almost 40pc of all the goods China sold the United States previous year after a public comment period ends 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 president's tweet comes just days after Apple sent a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative raising concerns that the additional tariffs that the president proposed would be bad for business.

"That totally changes the equation", Mr Trump said.

Mobile phones, the biggest USA import from China, have so far been spared, but would be engulfed if Trump activates the $US267 billion tariff list. It makes many of its products for the USA market in China, and it also sells gadgets including the iPhone in China, making them a potential target for Chinese retaliation against the Trump tariffs.

"Our concern with these tariffs is that the U.S. will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower USA growth and competitiveness and higher prices for United States consumers", Apple said in the letter.

The White House has accused China of stealing USA intellectual property and forcing American companies to share their technology with Chinese companies. "We want lower (trade) barriers across the board", Kudlow said.

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

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But so far China had not met the Trump administration's requests.

The country's trade surplus with the U.S.

Chinese officials acknowledged Chinese exporters have been rushing out shipments to beat new USA tariffs, buoying the headline growth readings, while some companies such as steel mills are diversifying and selling more products to other countries.

The U.S. trade deficit widened for the second straight month in July, reaching the highest level since February, as imports hit an all-time high.

Apple Inc. noted in a letter that the government's proposed tariffs on $200 billion cover a wide range of products used in its United States operations, including the Apple Watch. The tariffs would pressure China to stop that behaviour, the administration has said.

It also said that every Apple product "contains parts or materials from the United States and is made with equipment from US-based suppliers".

He added: "We've taxed them $50 billion that's on technology".