Apple, Keurig Dr Pepper, Dollar Tree press U.S. to drop China tariff plan

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FILE PHOTO: People walk past an Apple store in Beijing, China January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Apple Inc, Keurig Dr Pepper Inc and Dollar Tree Inc have joined other companies in their opposition to a Trump administration plan for more U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, including iPhones, Macbooks, and single-serve coffee brewers.

The United States and China are resuming talks to end a trade war after more than a month’s hiatus. The countries’ leaders are expected to meet at the G20 in Japan next week.

U.S. President Donald Trump had said he would consider extending tariffs to another $300 billion (£236 billion) of Chinese goods if his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping does not yield progress on the trade dispute.

The new round of tariffs would reduce Apple’s competitiveness and reduce the contribution it could make to the U.S. Treasury, Apple said in an online filing on Thursday.

Apple said in the document that it is the largest U.S. corporate taxpayer to the U.S. Treasury and reiterated its 2018 pledge to directly contribute over $350 billion to the U.S. economy over five years.

Apple said it would also take a hit because Chinese and other non-U.S. firms do not have a significant U.S. market presence.

“A U.S. tariff would, therefore, tilt the playing field in favour of our global competitors,” Apple said.

The levies would also hit Airpods, AppleTVs and batteries and parts.. Some of these products were spared from the previous round of tariffs imposed last September on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, but were put back on the list when Trump decided to prepare tariffs on virtually all remaining imports from China.

COMPLAINTS LIST GROWS

Coffee and beverage firm Keurig Dr Pepper and technology giant Apple are the latest in a growing list of U.S. companies pressing the Trump administration to abandon plans to impose tariffs of up to 25% on another $300 billion of Chinese imports.

Air conditioner maker Carrier Inc, a unit of United Technologies, said the latest round of tariffs on air conditioner parts “will result in significant price increases for U.S. consumers of U.S.-manufactured HVAC equipment,” making them less likely to replace older, inefficient systems.

The company said it would take 12 to 18 months to find alternative parts sources, and higher costs may force it to exit lower-priced segments of the air conditioning market.

Companies such as Dell Technologies Inc, HP Inc, and Walmart Inc have already voiced their opposition.

Officials are in the fourth of seven days of hearings for U.S. manufacturers, retailers and other businesses to weigh in on the tariff plan. Individuals and companies can also file comments to an online docket through July 2. here

FROM COMPUTERS TO K-CUPS

Some 88 percent of all coffee brewers sold in the United States are imported from China, Keurig counsel said in its public comments. The company’s own brewers are in over 28 million homes and used in more than 1 million hotel rooms, the letter to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said.

“This is significant, for the manufacturers directly affected and coffee-drinking U.S. consumers who will have no choice but to pay higher prices for coffee brewers, or forgo their daily morning brew,” the company said.

Many U.S. companies rely on China to source a vast array of products. Finding alternative suppliers will raise costs, in many cases more than the 25% tariffs, some witnesses have this week told a panel of officials from USTR, the Commerce Department, State Department and other federal agencies.

The proposed list, which will be ready for a decision by Trump as early as July 2, includes nearly all consumer products. It has been loudly opposed by retailers like Dollar Tree, which is one of the top 50 U.S. employers and seventh largest importer, the company said in its public comments.

“Simply put, the imposition of an additional 25% duty on the types of everyday, household products that we offer will have a significant and disproportionate negative impact on middle- and low-income American households,” Dollar Tree said.

The tariffs could also hit Christmas sales hard, particularly cellphones, computers, toys and electronic gadgets.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Premier League – Newcastle United v Leicester City – St James’ Park, Newcastle, Britain – September 29, 2018 Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley REUTERS/Scott Heppell

(Reuters) – Mike Ashley has agreed to sell Newcastle United to Abu Dhabi’s billionaire Sheikh, Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, for 350 million pounds, the Sun reported late on Sunday.

The contracts between Ashley and Sheikh Khaled have been signed and submitted to the Premier League, according to the report.

Ashley, who bought a controlling stake in the Premier League club in 2007, has in the past tried to sell the club.

Ashley, who owns British sportswear retailer Sports Direct International Plc said last October that he had not received any acceptable offers for Newcastle, a year after he officially put the club up for sale, but told Sky News in December that talks on a deal had made promising progress.

Any potential buyer of the club must be able to provide transfer funds, he had said at the time.

Sheikh Khaled, the cousin of Manchester City owner and Arab billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, previously failed in his bid to buy Liverpool Football Club for 2 billion pounds last year, the Daily Mail has previously reported.

Sheikh Khaled is also the founder of Bin Zayed Group, a leading conglomerate with diverse business interests in the local and international markets.

Newcastle United, the Premier League and the Bin Zayed Group did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comments.

Drone deliveries coming ‘within months’, Amazon says

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The company conducted its first test of drone deliveries in 2016 in Britain. At the time, it said US regulations made it harder to use drones for delivery in the United States.

Wilke said Wednesday that Amazon has invested to make its delivery drones safer and more efficient.

 

 

“It can do vertical takeoffs and landings — like a helicopter,” he said. “And it’s efficient and aerodynamic — like an airplane. It also easily transitions between these two modes, from vertical-mode to airplane mode, and back to vertical mode.”

The new drones are also designed to be stable even in gusty wind conditions, Wilke added.

“We know customers will only feel comfortable receiving drone deliveries if they know the system is incredibly safe,” he said.

“So we’re building a drone that isn’t just safe, but independently safe, using the latest artificial intelligence technologies.”

Amazon said earlier this year it would speed up its free delivery for its Prime subscribers, currently two days for most items, to a single day, with North American customers the first to benefit.

 

 

It said it would spend some $800 million in the current quarter in the effort to shorten delivery times. It is also hiring more drivers and offering employees an opportunity to launch their own delivery enterprise with a subsidy from Amazon.

(AFP)

 

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