Shares knocked lower after new US tariff threat on Chinese goods

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Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook - who dined with President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, at Trump's Bedminster, New Jersey golf resort in August - has said he hopes "calm heads prevail" in the trade conflict between the USA and China.

China retaliated against the first round of USA tariffs, which were applied mostly to Chinese technology imports, with its own $50 billion of tariffs, primarily on US agricultural goods. Chinese officials have signaled they'll refuse to meet with Mnuchin if this next round of tariffs is imposed, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Beijing has said it would retaliate to trade war escalation with tariffs of its own as well as qualitative measures, which it has not specified but are perceived within the USA business community as likely to include increased customs and regulatory scrutiny.

A public comment period ended last week for the $200 billion tariff list, which included various internet technology products and other electronics, printed circuit boards, and consumer goods ranging from handbags to bicycles and furniture. Apple Inc. said last month the proposed duties on $200 billion cover a wide range of products used in its USA operations.U.S. stock futures edged lower, Asian equities slumped and European shares fluctuated amid investor concerns a heightened trade war will crimp corporate profits and undermine economic growth. In previous rounds of anti-China tariffs, it has taken one to two weeks to make list revisions and another two to three weeks to begin collecting tariffs.

In response to President Trump's threatened tariffs, Beijing has teed up tariffs of five to 25 percent on $60 billion of U.S. goods including pig hides, cocoa butter and condoms.

The president has vowed to put punitive tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese goods, meaning tariffs would now affect roughly half of what the United States buys from China - its largest source of imported merchandise.

Hurricane Florence moving towards coast of North, South Carolina: NHC
North Carolina's Duplin and Sampson counties, just inland, sell more hogs and pigs than anywhere else in America. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle.

China wants talks based on "mutual trust", said a foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang.

In July, Trump announced that his administration would offer a $12 billion emergency plan to help offset farmers hard hit by retaliatory tariffs imposed on agricultural products like soybeans, pork and dairy by China and other countries.

The report quoted one senior Chinese official saying the country would not negotiate "with a gun pointed to its head".

USA officials, led by the Treasury Department, have invited their Chinese counterparts to more talks on trade.

President Trump claimed cost increases because of his tariffs have been "almost unnoticeable" - but didn't mention his administration's $12 billion bailout to American farmers caught up in the trade war.

Other officials who advise the country's leaders are suggesting China impose limits on the sale of parts and supplies needed by US businesses, using "export restraints" to threaten their supply chains.

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