Trump talks trade with Apple CEO Cook as China dispute looms

President Donald Trump walks up to speak to the media before departing from the White House

President Donald Trump walks up to speak to the media before departing from the White House

"We know firsthand that the additional tariffs will have a significant, negative, and long-term impact on American businesses, farmers, families, and the U.S. economy", says the letter, which was signed by more than 600 companies and trade associations and endorsed by the tech, manufacturing, and agricultural industries.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, U.S. June 3, 2019.

Trump has repeatedly said he expects to meet Xi at the G20 gathering to talk about the trade dispute between the two nations.

In a letter sent Thursday to the White House, its 661 signatories, including Walmart, PetSmart, and the American Association of Exporters and Importers, told the Trump administration that it is concerned over the recent "escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs" between the United States and China. "Broadly applied tariffs are not an effective tool to change China's unfair trade practices".

The meeting comes as Trump weighs whether to go ahead with proposed increases to tariffs in his trade war with China. "Tariffs are taxes paid directly by US companies. not China". He urged the Trump administration focus on how trade helps a broad number of people in the country and "not just those it harms".

In the letter, the companies cited a study which found that 25% tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods would add more than $2,000 in costs for the average American family of four.

They would also add more than US$2,000 in costs for the average American family of four and reduce the value of USA gross domestic product by 1 per cent, it said. "An escalated trade war is not in the country's best interest, and both sides will lose".

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