Published: Fri, June 14, 2019

Trump talks trade with Apple CEO Cook as China dispute looms

Trump talks trade with Apple CEO Cook as China dispute looms

In a letter sent Thursday to the White House, its 661 signatories, including Walmart, PetSmart, and the American Association of Exporters and Importers, told the Trump administration that it is concerned over the recent "escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs" between the United States and China.

The tariffs are taxes directly paid by U.S. companies, not China, the signatory companies said, adding that the increase in tariffs and the uncertainty about the trade negotiations have created turmoil in markets and threaten economic growth.

Walmart Inc, Target Corp and more than 600 other companies urged U.S. President Donald Trump in a letter on Thursday to resolve the trade dispute with China, saying tariffs hurt American businesses and consumers.

The letter, from the group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, said that while "we agree that our trading partners must abide by global trade rules. we believe this goal can be achieved without taxing Americans".

Cook is a frequent visitor to the White House and has worked with Ivanka Trump on her job training and education initiatives. "Tariffs are taxes paid directly by U.S. companies". He has said he will make a decision sometime after the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan at the end of June, where he hopes to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Walmart, the largest US private-sector employer and the world's largest retailer, has said tariffs will increase prices for USA consumers.

The meeting comes as the President is considering whether to go ahead with threatened tariff increases in his trade war with China. After talks on a trade deal with China faltered last month, he ordered a tariff increase to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on $200bn of goods and targeted an additional $300bn in products for duties - including consumer items from clothing to toys to mobile phones that the administration tried to spare in previous rounds. "An escalated trade war is not in the country's best interest, and both sides will lose", they said.

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