United States ready for China trade deal when Beijing is 'serious'; Kudlow

The United States will spare Apple Inc's Watch and other consumer gadgets from the latest round of tariffs on Chinese goods, a senior administration official said in a last-minute reprieve for the technology industry on Monday.

Beijing has already said it would retaliate against the US$200 billion round of tariffs by imposing duties on US$60 billion of USA goods ranging from liquefied natural gas to aircraft.

He said an announcement on an additional $200 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods were "coming soon".

The administration is giving American businesses a chance to adjust and look for alternative supply chains by delaying an increase of the tariff to 25 per cent on January 1 for the US$200 billion batch of Chinese goods, according to two senior administration officials who briefed reporters on Monday.

President Trump announced Monday that he is slapping additional tariffs on roughly $200 billion in Chinese imports and threatened to impose even more levies amid an escalating trade dispute. Apple shares fell 0.7 percent to $216.29 after hours. Fitbit closed down 1.1% at $5.45 a share.

However, some products that help computer networks operate, such as routers, will remain on the new list, the official said. Altogether about 300 product categories were given reprieves, including some non-tech consumer devices such as bicycle helmets and baby auto seats.

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Apple and Eero did not respond to a Reuters request for comment, and Fitbit declined to comment.

Earlier this month, Apple sent the Trump Administration a letter warning that tariffs could lead to higher prices for Apple products, including the Watch, AirPods, the HomePod and certain accessories. After Cook dined with Trump and the first lady last month at Trump's golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, the administration is poised to hand Apple some welcome news - the next round of tariffs imposed on China won't include products like the Apple Watch and AirPods.

After Apple's comments, Trump said in a tweet said that there was an "easy solution" for Apple to avoid tariffs. Mark Vena, an analyst with technology research firm Moor Insights & Strategy, told the Wall Street Journal today that Apple has the inventory of key components for products, like the iPhone, to get through the holiday but the threats of retaliation by China "could be a serious problem" later on. "Start building new plants now", he tweeted on September 8.

The product code that includes Apple Watch was part of a list the Trump administration released earlier this summer.

An array of equipment used to make servers and networking gear for data centers is on the list announced on Monday. -China trade tensions. An analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy told the Wall Street Journal that retaliatory moves by China "could be fairly devastating" in the long term if China restricts sales of manufacturing parts to US companies. All of the items in Lam's letter were included in the final list.

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