World stock markets fall on trade fears and rate hike worries

US President Donald Trump

Meanwhile, Chinese state media have been pushing propaganda that Trump's trade war is aimed at containing China's rise.

Global exports increased by 9.8 percent while its imports rose by 20 percent compared to the same month previous year, according to customs data. Trump said on Friday he is considering another $267 billion of tariffs on China, which analysts said will affect virtually every category of consumer goods, to retaliate against what he calls unfair trade practices.

New tariffs are expected soon on US$200 billion (S$276 billion) worth of imports from China and these will be in addition to the US$50 billion already in place.

If the president follows through, the threatened tariffs and those already in place would more than cover the value of all goods the United States buys from China, according to USA government data from a year ago.

President Trump's latest list of proposed tariffs on products manufactured in China would have a negative impact on some of Apple's most popular products. "Recent data shows that China's foreign trade has stabilized and the growth momentum has been consolidated".

The Trump administration began imposing a series of tariffs on goods from China this summer, but up until now, consumer electronics have been left off the list.

"Make your products in the United States instead of China. That changes the equation".

"The hope is that this (NAFTA) puts a lot of pressure on the China's of the world to help us negotiate better reciprocal trade deals", Kevin Hassett, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told Reuters.

The president, speaking to reporters aboard Air Force Once, said he's in the middle of reshaping America's trade policy on a number of fronts, from Canada and Mexico nearby, to China, South Korea and Japan overseas.

"If USTR [Lighthizer] were to impose a 10-25 per cent additional duty on networking products and accessories", the corps wrote, "it would cause broad, disproportionate economic harm to US interests, including our companies and US workers, our customers, US consumers, and broader US economic and strategic priorities". China has not yet responded to this latest announced round of tariffs.

Chinese exporters of lower-value goods such as handbags and surgical gloves say USA orders have fallen off. These tariffs are the administration's response to its charges that Beijing uses predatory tactics to try to supplant US technological supremacy. The Shanghai market is down roughly 23 percent in dollar terms so far this year while the Dow has risen almost 5 percent.

But Kudlow said the US goals are clear. On Twitter, Trade lawyer Scott Lincicome pointed out that an iPhone would be more expensive to manufacture here in the USA, citing a Marketplace report from 2014 that suggested that the component cost of an iPhone in China was around $190 per phone.

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