World stocks mostly fall on possible US-China tariffs

Apple says the price of its watches and other products will rise as a result of tariffs imposed in the trade war between the US and China. Reuters

But 2018 Chinese imports through July were up almost 9 per cent over the same period of 2017, according to US Census Bureau data.

Washington is demanding Beijing to improve market access and intellectual property protections for USA companies, cut industrial subsidies, and slash a $375 billion trade gap.

The tariffs that Trump has imposed, and threatened to impose, total $517bn - more than the $505bn in Chinese goods that entered the country previous year.

"The $200bn we are talking about could take place very soon depending on what happens with them", Mr Trump said, in comments made on Air Force One, as he travelled from Montana to South Dakota. Beijing says it will retaliate. China has confidence that it can maintain steady economic growth, said Gao Feng, a spokesman for the ministry.

Cell phones, the biggest US import from China, have so far been spared, but would be hit if Trump activates the new $267 billion tariff list.

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While China's trade surplus with the United States grew again, it remained stable with the rest of the world at $27.9 billion in August.

Other tech companies have expressed concern, too.

USA indexes are set for a subdued open. There were also increases in imports of automobiles and parts as well as other goods.

Trump said Friday that the timing of the tariffs on the $200bn worth of goods is not yet final.

The U.S.'s ability to continue to dominate telecommunications technology, including the upcoming fifth-generation phone networks, will be hampered by the levy on imports from China.

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If Trump follows through his threats, it would mean virtually all of China's exports to the US would be subject to higher duties.

The US dollar rallied versus major peers and the offshore Chinese yuan fell the most in a week. That would give financial markets a chance to digest the politically sensitive data before trading opens Monday.

Chinese exports to the United States rose to $44.4 billion in August, a 13.2 percent increase from the same period previous year, according to customs data. But Beijing will struggle to keep responding in kind as it imports less than Dollars 200 billion in USA goods per year.

"China, right now, is a far bigger problem", Trump said. But trade data have yet to show a significant impact. Imports rose 20.9 percent to $189.5 billion, down from 21 percent. The International Monetary Fund has warned that a trade war could undermine the strongest global upswing in years.

The trade conflict between the world's two biggest economies shows little sign of abating, roughly two months after the USA imposed its first round of tariffs on Chinese goods, and negotiations to defuse the tensions have stalled. -China trade war, the combined monthly value of goods and services traded between the two nations would be roughly $1 billion, or 2%, higher through July 2018 that what actually has been recorded.

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