China will cut iPhone sales and retaliate 'tit-for-tat' if Trump follows through with trade threats

A Chinese state-run newspaper has said: that “US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback,” if Donald Trump starts a trade war, The Guardian has reported.

If President-elect Trump puts into effect his threats to impose a 45% tariff on Chinese imports and list China as a currency manipulator, China will take a “tit-for-tat approach,” the newspaper, Global Times, said.

The airline industry was singled out in the list of countermeasures — specifically that China would replace a batch of orders for US-owned Boeing aeroplanes with French-owned Airbus ones.

It also said US soybean and maize imports will be halted and that China can also limit the number of Chinese students studying in the US.

However, the newspaper also described the 45% tariff as “merely campaign rhetoric.”

Whether President Trump will deliver on his protectionist ideas has before been called into question: Societe Generale’s China specialist, Wie Yao, believes a high-tariff is out of the question and Barclays Economic Research team’s base case scenario is a 15% tariff on trade with China.

Whilst the newspaper said: “none of the previous presidents were bold enough to launch an all-out trade war on China,” — and referenced China’s retaliation to Barack Obama’s 35% import tariff on Chinese tires — it made China’s response to Trump’s threats clear, saying: “The new president will be condemned for his recklessness, ignorance and incompetence and bear all the consequences.”

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