President Trump Talks Trade and Other Issues with Apple CEO Tim Cook

Saul Bowman
June 15, 2019

'We know firsthand that the additional tariffs will have a significant, negative and long-term impact on USA companies, farmers, families and the economy of the United States, ' they said.

The CEO Economic Outlook Index, a gauge of business confidence of big USA corporations issued quarterly by the Washington-based Business Roundtable, decreased 5.7 points in the second quarter to a value of 89.5. The group urged fresh negotiations to reach a trade deal with China.

"We remain concerned about the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs", the new letter sent on Thursday said.

But under President Trump the lines that separated trade policy from diplomacy and national security issues seem to have disappeared, with the White House operating under the assumption it can use tariffs as a tool to achieve nearly any worldwide goal, while at the same time justifying its aggressive trade policies, like the decision to block China's Huawei from buying United States products, on the basis of national security considerations.

The companies said those tariffs are taxes they end up paying, not China. But other issues have overwhelmed the industry more recently, including the trade war between the US and China and concern about the sector's rising power.


In fact, Mr Trump has already tweeted that if Mexico does not deliver concrete results in controlling the migrant flow from Central America, the White House would not hesitate to renew its threat to impose tariffs on its neighbour with which it has just concluded an agreement on a revised North American free trade accord that includes also Canada.

Though many retailers are putting on a courageous face, many have said in recent weeks and months that the new tariffs would force them to raise prices, resulting in higher costs paid by U.S. consumers for the same items.

"Trade overall has been good for Americans, good for consumers.and I realise it gets criticised at times,"Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon said last week". It's the latest effort by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a national campaign against levies, supported by more than 150 trade associations.

As for the overall US economy, the 127 CEOs who completed the survey projected a 2.6 percent growth of the gross domestic product in 2019, 0.1 percentage point higher than the estimate made in the previous quarter. "An escalated trade war is not in this country's best interest and both sides will lose".

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