Asian markets sink on fresh trade fears after Trump remarks

The surplus with the United States was larger than China's net surplus for the month, indicating that China would be running a deficit if trade with the world's largest economy was excluded.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, including some automobiles, in a move Trump has touted as necessary to punish Beijing for what he says are its unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft. "We hope, instead, that you will reconsider these measures and work to find other, more effective solutions that leave the USA economy and USA consumer stronger and healthier than ever before", Apple said.

STRONG JOBS REPORT: Investor sentiment was supported by upbeat economic data out of the USA on Friday that showed the pace of hiring quickened in August and wages growing at their fastest pace in nine years.

Mr Trump last Friday threatened duties on another US$267 billion (S$368 billion) of goods on top of US$200 billion in imports primed for levies in coming days. That left American companies on edge about whether Beijing might use its control over the heavily regulated economy to disrupt their operations by withholding licenses or launching tax, anti-monopoly or other investigations.

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The automaker decided a couple years back to shift production of the Focus to Mexico, then last year it opted for China instead.

One interesting detail in that Marketplace report: Cheap Chinese labor, contrary to popular opinion, is not the source of most of the savings achieved by building iPhones in China.

Exports to the United States in August rose 13.4 percent to $44.4 billion, ticking up from July's 13.3 percent growth.

Chinese trade data released on Saturday could give Trump more reason to turn up the heat.

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Beijing matched Washington's first round of tariffs on $50 billion of goods.

China's imports from the United States a year ago totaled $153.9 billion.

In August, China unveiled a proposed list of retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion of USA goods ranging from liquefied natural gas to some types of aircraft, should Washington activate the tariffs on its $200 billion list. He wrote on Twitter, "Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China - but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive".

China's entirely state-controlled media also have encouraged consumer boycotts against Japanese, South Korean and other products during disputes with those governments.

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