back to article China gets mad at Donald Trump, threatens to ruin Apple

China says the rhetoric of US President-elect Donald Trump could lead it to block the sale of products by Apple and other US tech companies. An editorial from the state-run Global Times news outlet suggests that, should Trump make good on his campaign promise to declare China a currency manipulator and raise tariffs on …

  1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Trade War

    This might be posturing to secure a deal. This also highlights a problem when manufacturing is not local or in a very friendly country; you can get caught in a trade war or worse with you supply chain in complete shambles.

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Re: Trade War

      The US recognised this problem at the begging of the 1980s and tried unsuccessfully to turn it around. Things have only gotten more precarious since then. Will Trump be able to stimulate American manufacturing to the levels of 40 years ago? I doubt it. So the only way forward it to be very, very careful. I personally think that the best case scenario is that he learns that lesson. Hopefully before it is too late.

      1. Eric Olson

        Re: Trade War - FTFY

        Will Trump be able to stimulate American manufacturing to the levels of 40 years ago? I doubt it.^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Not even in an infinite number of concurrent simulations.

        There is no going back, regardless of the rhetoric or blustering. There is no earthly reason why anyone would ever produce underwear and shirts in the US, nor the cheap electronics that fill Wal-Mart to bursting. Short of paramilitary forces holding people at gunpoint to produce for pennies a day, there will never be a profit.

        Of course, the dirty secret is that in terms of value of goods produced, the US manufacturing sector hasn't looked this good in 15 years; the difference is it's being done through automation or with minimal human interaction. But that's not what The Donald ever meant, and that's definitely not what his supporters heard.

        1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Trade War - FTFY

          EO "...cheap electronics that fill Wal-Mart to bursting..."

          Our Mall*Warts in eastern Canada have 'next to nothing' in the Electronics Department. Their entire display inventory could just about fit in a van. Anyone with a 'Gold' credit card could buy one of everything.

          They do have a lovely display of bubblegum on the sidewalk just outside the entrance. It's unlike any other retail store. Like the beginnings of a future Tar Pit, ready to trap Mastodons or Giant Sloths. Strange.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Trade War - FTFY

            Our Mall*Warts in eastern Canada have 'next to nothing' in the Electronics Department. Their entire display inventory could just about fit in a van. Anyone with a 'Gold' credit card could buy one of everything.

            You don't HAVE real Mal-Warts in Canadia. You DO have Tim Horton's

        2. Warm Braw Silver badge

          Re: Trade War - FTFY

          holding people at gunpoint to produce for pennies a day

          They already do that. And I think Trump plans to increase the prison population...

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Trade War - FTFY

            "I think Trump plans to increase the prison population..."

            well, with a select few POLITICIANS maybe!

            (but I like it when career criminals go to jail for life - it keeps them from victimizing anybody else, FOREVER)

        3. Tatsky

          Re: Trade War - FTFY

          This is exactly my thoughts. Consumers want cheap goods, and corporates want profit. There is no way to produce goods in USA (or UK) which have a retail price suitable to consumers, yield a high enough salary for workers and return a high enough profit for the share holders.

          The USA and the UK want their cake, and to eat it too if they expect cheap goods, manufactured locally paying good wages and returning good dividend on the shares which shore up their pension funds.

          1. soulrideruk Bronze badge

            Re: Trade War - FTFY

            "The USA and the UK want their cake, and to eat it too"

            I know it's not your fault, but why do people use this blatantly incorrect saying?

            I damn well can have my cake and eat it. In fact, if I don't have the cake, how can I eat it?

            What I cannot do however is eat my cake and have it.

            This and other examples are such a pet hate, I plan to write a book called "The phrases we use that make no F#@!*:^ sense..."

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Trade War - FTFY

              >"In fact, if I don't have the cake, how can I eat it?"

              The proverb simply means, 'once you have eaten your cake you no longer have any cake.'

              It's the 'have your cake and eat it too' brigade that you should be irritated by.

              1. Androgynous Cow Herd

                Re: Trade War - FTFY

                The cake is a lie

              2. soulrideruk Bronze badge

                Re: Trade War - FTFY

                "The proverb simply means, 'once you have eaten your cake you no longer have any cake.'"

                I know what the proverb means, but it means the exact opposite of what is said. That by any stretch of the imagination is a stupid idea. Was the proverb invented by a politician?

                "It's the 'have your cake and eat it too' brigade that you should be irritated by."

                The user I was replying to posted:

                "The USA and the UK want their cake, and to eat it too"

        4. Indolent Wretch

          Re: Trade War - FTFY

          Well lets not forget the one ray of sunshine in the US, the forced labour in prisons making goods for pennies. That's at least one place where they can still be competitive:

          "According to the International Labor Organization, in 2000-2011 wages in American prisons ranged between $0.23 and $1.15 an hour. In California, prisoners earn between $0.30 and $0.95 an hour before deductions."

          "Over the years, the courts have held that inmates may be required to work and are not protected by the constitutional prohibition against involuntary servitude. They have also consistently held that inmates have no constitutional right to compensation and that inmates are paid by the "grace of the state."

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Trade War - FTFY

            Well lets not forget the one ray of sunshine in the US, the forced labour in prisons making goods for pennies. That's at least one place where they can still be competitive:

            Yes, they get paid $8 a day, but the taxpayer pays $150 to some private correctional company to house them and give them laughable "medical" care.

        5. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: Trade War - FTFY

          Automation is now in the process of impacting traditional white collar jobs. At least traditional manual work has a cost trade off with it -- people cost money but so do the machines that replace them. A lot of white collar work doesn't have those tradeoffs. We've already experienced the first wave as jobs like typists and secretaries disappeared; we didn't really notice what was going on because we all thought we had been promoted. Now AI is starting to eat into serious jobs, jobs that we might have thought skilled, in fields such as legal and medical.

          There are only two ways out of this problem and they're really two sides of the same coin -- government spending. The first is the socialist utopia, something that's been elusive. The second is, unfortunately, war. War has traditionally been the fix for over production and surplus population; unless we get a handle on our world - fast - this will be the preferred solution going forward.

        6. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: Trade War - FTFY

          Actually, manufacturing may start moving back to the US. As producing countries get wealthier the local wages start rising. This happened with Japan and Korea. It is happening in China and India. At some point the local wages, etc. plus freight costs are high enough that there is little or no advantage to manufacture overseas. So the manufacturing migrates back.

      2. John Sanders
        WTF?

        Re: Trade War

        ""The US recognised this problem at the begging of the 1980s and tried unsuccessfully to turn it around.""

        Really? they tried isn't so hard, they even got tired of so much effort.

        Ah the naivety.

      3. BillG Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Save This Post

        In modern times, this always happens with a new President:

        China complains about trade and makes financial threats, looking for trade concessions.

        North Korea makes noises about nuclear weapons, looking for $billions under-the-table.

        Iran shouts about their nuclear program, looking for economic concessions.

        Russia makes military threats towards some nearby former-Soviet territory, just for fun.

        In all cases these four nations are using PR as a weapon against the new administration.

      4. dougdaslug1

        Re: Trade War

        Exactly, posturing. I think we can agree on it being one of the main reasons he was elected, no doubt.

      5. Walter Bishop Silver badge

        Re: Trade War

        "The US recognised this problem at the begging of the 1980s and tried unsuccessfully to turn it around."

        How so, where, what exactly did they do to reverse this. You are aware that the iPhone is manufactured at the Foxconn plant in China, as is the BlackBerry, Kindle, Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, Nokia and Wii. The same was done with the automotive industry, top US companies all moved production to Mexico. The US megacorporation are quite happy to move production overseas if it'll make them a few extra points on the bottom line. The decimation of manufacturing in the US being an irrelevancy. It's be interesting seeing if Trump will reverse any of this with his promises to renegotiate NAFTA and TRIPS.

      6. mstreet

        Re: Trade War

        "Will Trump be able to stimulate American manufacturing to the levels of 40 years ago? I doubt it. So the only way forward it to be very, very careful."

        There's another tried and tested method that the country has used in the past. Sadly, it's war. Without the word "trade" in front of it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trade War

      >This might be posturing to secure a deal.

      Nope it's the currency manipulation accusation. China's stated aim in the medium term is to displace the Dollar with Yuan in international exchange - tariffs pale in comparison. The $1.2 trillion in US treasury debt held by the Chinese Government is a much bigger stick than the US's $330 billion trade deficit with China.

      If Trump had got elected in 1980, maybe his posturing could have made a difference - back then Shenzen was a sleepy market town with a population of 30,000 and the US had an industrial base. It's a little too late to stop the ride now and there are plenty of other fare paying passengers if he tries.

      1. Sirius Lee

        Re: Trade War

        My guess is that you are not a negotiator. Or, at least, I hope I get to negotiate with you if you are.

        The loser out of a trade war with the US is China. It will be unpleasant for dainty snowflakes in California and New York who might not be able to get the latest shiny, shiny as inexpensively as they do today. But there is a reason there is a trade imbalance. US$ are funding the process of lifting China out of the sorry state it was in by the 1970s.

        There are some 300m relatively wealthy people in China, mainly in the large coastal cities, but it is still a dirt poor place with average GDP per person of just $6K vs US at over $50K. If China does not have the money from the US its growth will fail almost overnight. There are just not enough wealthy Chinese to keep the economic engine running well enough to lift the country out of poverty.

        Since 2008 China has been on a suicidal investment binge. The investment has delivered infrastructure and new cities to the country but it has piled up humongous debt. Where will the money come from to service this debt if not from the US? Not sure you believe me? Here's a link to a program by a UK journalist called Robert Peston who, at the time, was economics editor for the BBC. His assessment may be overly pessimistic but it illustrates the scale of the potential problem.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNu4AoHdNTE

        Meanwhile, China cannot feed itself and has almost no natural resources. It needs to buy those from other countries. This is why China has been making friendly with much of Africa and South America where it can. But it needs US$ to spend.

        Without US$ the human cost in China will be horrific. Even with the one-child policy the Chinese population is 1.3bn. One in every 6 people on the planet is Chinese. Without US$ China will be unable to support itself.

        So the Chinese may have a significant stake in the US. But the impact on the US of China wielding its stick is unpleasantness for US citizens. For many Chinese it can be life or not.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trade War

          >If China does not have the money from the US its growth will fail almost overnight.

          You have this backwards - China is the US's largest foreign creditor.

          >Even with the one-child policy the Chinese population is 1.3bn.

          It's now a two child policy as China needs growth due to an aging population.

          >Without US$ China will be unable to support itself.

          82% of China's trade is with other countries than the US. Inward investment from the US certainly helped with the infrastructure boom a decade ago, but don't confuse that with debt - it was bought and paid for with cheap shiny shiny. China plans in decades, 4 years is an Age in US politics.

          I would ask where you get your information, but then I saw the ref to the Honourable Robert P and laughed out loud.

        2. Adrian Tawse

          Re: Trade War

          You may be right about the relative affects of a trade war, but whereas poverty in the US leads to the likes of Trump the affect on the Chinese government is absolutely zero.

        3. Anonymous Blowhard

          Re: Trade War

          "There are some 300m relatively wealthy people in China, mainly in the large coastal cities, but it is still a dirt poor place with average GDP per person of just $6K vs US at over $50K."

          So what's the average GDP of the USA without the "dainty snowflakes in California and New York" and large coastal cities?

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Re: Trade War

            So what's the average GDP of the USA without the "dainty snowflakes in California and New York" and large coastal cities?

            It's much easier to just drop whole states rather than trying to cherry pick "large coastal cities" so if you remove the states of CA and NY as well as DC (because numbers are reported for it) the GDP per capita is $53K which is less than a 5% drop. Funny story, if you actually look at the list you'll see states like Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming making the top 10 while California only makes 10th place if you exclude DC. If oil goes back up it wouldn't be hard to imagine California being bumped down the list, maybe not as far as 17th like it was in 2012 but certainly lower than now.

            Of course it's hardly a proper metric as Florida is fairly loaded with pensioners fleeing the cold weather of places like New York which likely drags Florida's numbers down and boosts New York's up. Plus you wind up involving all sorts of things that probably shouldn't contribute due to entanglements with Federal funds like does a military base raise or lower the number. Worse it doesn't normalize the value of a dollar based on purchasing power parity which would bring some of the lofty numbers of DC and other "large coastal cities" down substantially as a dollar in DC goes only about 80% as far as it does in the nation as a whole and about 65% as far as the cheapest places in the country.

      2. Ian 45

        Re: Trade War

        If I owe the bank $1 its my problem, if I owe them $1m its the banks. The US can simply not pay.

        1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

          Re: Trade War

          If I owe the bank $1 its my problem, if I owe them $1m its the banks. The US can simply not pay.

          Well that might work, except that the US needs to borrow more (and more and more) and where is it going to borrow all that from if potential lenders see them defaulting on their debt. Sadly the US is a lost making business at the moment.

      3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Trade War

        > If Trump had got elected in 1980

        Regan was elected in 1980 - he was the 80's version of Trump.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trade War

          >Regan was elected in 1980 - he was the 80's version of Trump

          Not even close.

          1. Alister Silver badge

            Re: Trade War

            >>Regan was elected in 1980 - he was the 80's version of Trump

            >Not even close.

            Not even spelled correctly...

            1. James Loughner

              Re: Trade War

              Everyone knows it is spelled Raygun

        2. Adrian Tawse

          Re: Trade War

          Remember it was Regan who ran such a massive deficit that has led to the the Chinese largely owning the US, a deficit that still shackles US policy. Something Trump still has to understand. There was a reason Regan economics was labelled Reganomics, it was economics of the make believe, of the innumerate, of the fantasist.

          1. Tatsky

            Re: Trade War

            Yeah, but he ran under the strap line of "Make america Great Again".. oh

          2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Re: Trade War

            Remember it was Regan who ran such a massive deficit that has led to the the Chinese largely owning the US, a deficit that still shackles US policy.

            LOL! It's what I do every time I see the old "the Chinese largely owning the US" chestnut. China holds a whopping 6% of the U.S. debt. Hardly what one would call "largely owning". Notice in the first link that Japan is right up there with 5.8%. I grant it may be more common for people to make it look worse by comparing China's portion with only the foreign held total in which case it looks somewhat more impressive at 19.1% of the $6.2 trillion but still not exactly up to what one thinks of as "largely".

            While we're on the topic, let's have a look at the other side of the coin and see what the U.S. is holding in foreign securities. Huh, the U.S. holds $9.4 trillion in foreign instruments and owes $6.2 trillion to foreign countries. It seems the "largely owned" by China theory is rather exaggerated.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Trade War

              Hmm, other major holders of debt:

              Ireland

              Cayman Islands

              Brazil

              Switzerland

              Luxembourg

              Does that look like some sort of tax avoidance, shell company shenanigans right there? Where does the money buying the debt ultimately come from?

          3. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: Trade War

            The Democrats in Congress promised Reagan $3 in reduced spending for every $1 in tax increases he allowed. The spending reduction never happened. That's not to say Reagan bore no responsibility for the deficit during his years, but it has to be viewed in context.

            There's no doubt that Reagan took us from double-digit inflation and high unemployment (a situation that's not even supposed to happen according to Keynesian theory under which the Democrats labor) and gave us the largest sustained peacetime growth we've ever seen. Increasing military spending brought us the so-called peace dividend after the Soviet Union tried and failed to keep up and collapsed under its own weight. That's quite a lot, but even Reagan had limits-- Congress was owned by the Democrats for all eight years Reagan was in office, and it's Congress (the House, specifically) that sets the budget.

            Obama doubled our national debt in eight years, largely a function of the actions he undertook in his first two years, when his party owned Congress as well as the White House. The debt load went up more under Obama than it did under Reagan, Bush, Clinton, another Bush, and the previous 39 presidents combined. The last eight years equaled or exceeded the first 232. And unlike Reagan's relatively meager deficit spending, we have little or nothing to show for blowing all of that money.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trade War

          Regan was elected in 1980 - he was the 80's version of Trump.

          Yes, but no. Reagan would be considered centrist these days, like Thatcher.

          It's just our parents and other old people don't understand things have changed since the 80s

          1. Walter Bishop Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: Trade War

            "Yes, but no. Reagan would be considered centrist these days, like Thatcher."

            HAAAAA, Reagan began the process that ended up with the subprime mortgage crisis of 2009. All build on imaginary financial 'products' like CDSs, CDOs and the Black–Scholes magic formula for generating money out of thin air.

            "It's just our parents and other old people don't understand things have changed since the 80s"

            We understand too well, we understand we were sold a lie and the current quantitative easing strategy (basically borrowing from the future) is one your grandchildren will be working long and hard to pay back.

      4. naive

        Re: Trade War

        Typical libtard speak:.. oh it can't be done, we can't change the world... Industrial production can't be done here anymore... ... yeah right, Germany and China are after oil states the richest in the world because of it.

        We can, we just need to stop reading the liberal propaganda paid for by George Soros and his mates: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/democrats-soros-trump-231313

        Germany rebuilt itself after being bombed to bits in WW2, it just take the will to triumph over the odds.

        If German can, USA can, and with Trump it will get the jobs back stolen from us by a handful of greedy billionaires.

        1. HausWolf

          Re: Trade War

          You do realize the donald is one of those greedy billionaires ... who has yet to show he cares about the avg American. He manufactures all his stuff overseas, his subcontractors buy Chinese steel.

          He could have made at least some of his "premium goods" in the US, even as a token gesture, he could have speced American steel as well, it happens all the time by companies that truly buy American. That is what patriots do, not blame someone else who is doing the exact same thing he is doing.

          Germany and China do not have the profit before all ethos displayed by US companies in their drive for "shareholder value". In Germany, labor has a spot at the table and helps plan the future. In China labor is cheap and currently almost limitless.

          We manufacture as much as we did 40 years ago, automation has taken most of the jobs, productivity is at all time highs, but wages have not kept up. Who's fault is that?

          The used car salesman trump will not be able to bring the promised jobs back... lets just hope he doesn't start a war because of his lack of skills and blaming someone else.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Trade War

            He could have made at least some of his "premium goods" in the US, even as a token gesture, he could have speced American steel as well, it happens all the time by companies that truly buy American. That is what patriots do, not blame someone else who is doing the exact same thing he is doing.

            Yes, HE especially could have,

            The Trump Organization is not a publicly-owner corporation, there is no REQUIREMENT to maximize shareholder profit by reducing costs to a minimum - just sheer unadulterated greed

        2. Big_Ted

          Re: Trade War

          2 things

          First Libtards is a word that labels you as someone who reads Drudge and Breitbart and believes it so will be ignored by most.

          Secondly after the war Germany and Japan had their industry rebuilt with money from the countries that beat them. Who is going to pay for the US to rebuild ? they have to service their debt first or the rest of the world wont sale them the machines and tools they would need to stock the factories they would also have to build, and guess what they would have deported most of the cheap skilled builders back to Mexico.

          1. naive

            Re: Trade War

            There we are, typical libtard behave. Discredit people who disagree as deplorables, repeat it can't be done and go to facebook to share liberal "news" articles implying the world is going to end with president Trump.

            Luckily US citizens were smarter than this, most Europeans are still unaware of the massive scale they are being lied to by the billionaire owned mass media and the puppet politicians they are allowed to "elect".

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trade War

          >Germany rebuilt itself after being bombed to bits in WW2, it just take the will to triumph over the odds.

          No - West Germany was rebuilt under the European Recovery Program very much from the outside - Merkins usually refer to this as 'The Marshall Plan'. East Germany did not fare so well until more recent times. Read some history.

        4. Poncey McPonceface
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: Trade War

          > Germany rebuilt itself after being bombed to bits in WW2, it just take the will to triumph over the odds.

          Oh, you mean like the will on display in Triumph of the Will by Leni Riesensthal?

      5. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        Re: Trade War

        The $1.2 trillion in US treasury debt held by the Chinese Government is a much bigger stick than the US's $330 billion trade deficit with China.

        Words of Ankh-Morpork's "national" anthem some how spring to mind

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAqCbOJc6RU

      6. 101

        Re: Trade War

        China could ruin quite a few American companies. So could the Koreans and several other copy cat economies.

        The focus is usually about the jobs going overseas, but the real crime is and was sending proprietary machinery, a vast storehouse of manufacturing knowledge gathered over several hundred years, access to millions of patents and vast intellectual property absolutely free of charge.

        We simply gave it to them, in return for cheap socks that fall apart fast and electronic gizmos that mostly don't do much of anything productive.

        I truly believe it could all be stopped but it would need to be done in a way to save next big thing inventions here, the related jobs and for godsakes the innovative knowledge of new stuff right here, not to mention jobs. The Germans are somewhat skillfull at this, and a world export powerhouse.

        As for the socks industry, or completely copied designs for electronics, that's a lost cause.

        We need to keep the next big thing at home and let them pay us for a change.

      7. cray74 Silver badge

        Re: Trade War

        Not commenting on the discussion at large, just some of the numbers:

        The $1.2 trillion in US treasury debt held by the Chinese Government is a much bigger stick than the US's $330 billion trade deficit with China.

        That $1.2 trillion is only 7% of the US federal debt and similar to Japan's holdings. Foreign holdings of US government debt are 32.5% of the total. For the most part, Americans own American government debt.

        and the US had an industrial base.

        The US was the largest manufacturing nation in the world through 2010 by dollar value, when China finally overtook it. However, American manufacturing strength shifted away from TVs, appliances, and other everyday goods starting in the 1970s. Its manufacturing workforce also notoriously shrank during the period. But it very much had - and has - a sizable industrial base.

    3. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      WTF?

      Huh?

      iPhones are made in mainland China by mainland Chinese workers. How dos the Chinese government claim they "imported" without looking even stupider than usual?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        The same way that Apple claims 90% of the value of the iPhone is accounted for by the intellectual property supplied by Apple.

        If Apple claim to the USA that the part from China has no value then China gets to claim the same thing.

    4. Brian Miller Silver badge

      Re: Trade War

      "This also highlights a problem when manufacturing is not local or in a very friendly country..."

      I watched a news interview with the CEO of a company that moved all of its manufacturing from the US to China. He said, "we're not going to move it back." The only way that manufacturing would be moved from China to the US is if China does exactly that: blocks all Chinese products from being imported to the US.

      Can the US manufacture smart phones? Yes. Can it manufacture all of these things that were once made here? Yes. But as long as anything moves from China to the US, it will continue to be made in China. The facilities are not going to be moved until the product price rises drastically, like 100% or more. China's possible trade blockade will only be a temporary disruption, not a catastrophe.

      If China engages in a blockade, then, honestly, the products will be manufactured in South Korea, Vietnam, etc. Maybe some will be made in the US.

      As long as Trump doesn't act too much like Kim Jong-un, it doesn't look like a disaster in the future. The world is innovating faster than the politicians can move. Hopefully we can out-innovate "stupid."

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Trade War

        Why does everyone forget that U.S. companies get very large tax breaks to move manufacturing overseas.

        Ask yourself, why do they need it if they are already saving in the labor?

      2. bazza Silver badge

        Re: Trade War

        The move of manufacturing from the USA to China stems from the fact that company chairmen and directors have a fiduciary obligation to maximise shareholder value. This is not a trivial thing, it's deadly serious, especially in the USA. In the USA you can end up in deep personal trouble (e.g. jail, ultimately) if, as a director, you fail to improve value through gross negligence.

        One big way to improve value is to make manufacturing cheaper. China was cheaper than the USA.

        Now if, 20 years ago, a company chairman, CEO or director had refused to relocate manufacturing to China they'd have been laughed at, probably sacked, or (depending on how they'd 'lied' about the reasons not to) sued / prosecuted / jailed. Saying back then that concerns about long term geopolitical consequences were a reason not to off-shore was simply not a plausible argument, and probably detrimental to one's own future.

        Result? China became the world's factory.

        Many shareholders all over the world are terrible at taking a long term view - get rich quick or get outta here. They're to blame, they're a scourge on our society.

        OK, who are they? Ah, it's our pension schemes. That means practically all of us are ultimately to blame.

        The problem with Trump's strategy (let's call it that for the moment) is that imposing trade barriers effectively forces there to be a great reckoning. Just how much money does America have? How well has America invested in the education and training of its own people? How willing are Americans (remember that he's kicking out the illegal immigrants too) to do boring, low paid manufacturing work? Are they prepared to accept that a made-in-America microwave oven of any sort really should cost $400, not $50? None of these questions have good answers...

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Trade War

          http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/11/28/maximizing-shareholder-value-the-dumbest-idea-in-the-world

        2. Mage Silver badge

          Automated Production

          Even 100% automated production would not be economic, because of the supply chain. I think that's why hard drives are not moving from Thailand any time soon.

          Poor locally produced component quality and prices as much killed UK Consumer Electronics as labour costs. Actually the Labour costs on some products are such a tiny percentage that it's purely supply chain and existing factory automation investment that dictates build location.

        3. Tatsky

          Re: Trade War

          Again I'm just patting someone on the back here, but your comment is spot on.

          Many people forget (or just don't realise) that the shareholders that companies work to generate profit for are not big fat cats and CEOs they are Us, and our Pension plans.

          If suddenly the return on our pensions dropped, and it looked like we wouldn't have enough money to retire on, then there would be hell on.

          We want cheap goods, good quality, but with high wages and good profits for our pensions. The maths just doesn't work.

        4. Trilkhai

          Re: Trade War

          "...the fact that company chairmen and directors have a fiduciary obligation to maximise shareholder value. ... In the USA you can end up in deep personal trouble (e.g. jail, ultimately) if, as a director, you fail to improve value through gross negligence."

          Wrong. In case law, "shareholder value" is legally considered a vague term as shareholders tend to have a variety of values: long–term profit (which can mean short–term loss), tax burden, preserving jobs, avoiding pollution, and so forth. The often–cited myth comes from three main sources: economists ignorant of corporate case law, hedge funds that benefit from pushing boards into focusing on short–term profits, and executives whose pay is tied to stock performance.

          There's a ton of articles out there on the topic that say roughly the same thing, but here's the one I used as a main source:

          http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/04/16/what-are-corporations-obligations-to-shareholders/corporations-dont-have-to-maximize-profits

          Also, AFAIK at most a director/board found guilty would be ordered to pay fines/restitution as it would've been the result of a civil suit by the shareholders/company; incarceration is specific to criminal cases, which would require that the director/board have also broken the law.

      3. oldcoder

        Re: Trade War

        "Can the US manufacture smartphones.." Not without first investing a few billion to build the factories - which would take between 5 and 10 years.

        "Can it manufacture..." Only if there are still factories that haven't been closed, AND have been updated.

        Don't forget, a good bit of the factory has tools/machines that are also manufactured overseas as well. Those factories require rebuilding as well.

        The US doesn't even manufacture memory chips anymore. Those would have to be rebuilt as well - another 3 to 5 years...

        Now if you want to have things that are about 5 - 10 years behind the industry (meaning anywhere overseas), it could be done...

        But the US would be playing catch up with China... and might not make it simply because it would cost too much.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trade War

          >But the US would be playing catch up with China... and might not make it simply because it would cost too much.

          The monetary cost alone rules out anything but token gestures - there's no way the US would ever bear the human and environmental cost of China's rapid industrialisation. Even China could not repeat the exercise and that really is a totalitarian state.

        2. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Trade War

          @oldcoder, Semicon parts like memory chips don't come from the Democratic Peoples Republic of China, they come largely from the Republic of China (aka Taiwan) and other Asian countries. A trade war with China would suit the Taiwanese just fine, at worst they would have to fly the products out through another route to avoid Chinese airspace, like they had to do for the most part of their existence anyway.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Trade War

            Please advise where is this "Democratic Peoples Republic of China"?

            Is it the one that lasted a few days in 1949?

        3. toejam13

          Re: Trade War

          > The US doesn't even manufacture memory chips anymore.

          My understanding is that there are fabs in Arizona, California, Oregon, Virginia, and Utah that are either producing current generation memory chips or could be quickly reconfigured to do so. If you include older generation chips used by embedded devices, the list goes up.

          The bigger question is where end-device manufacturing would go in the event of a trade war. Would it come back to North America or would it go to other Asian countries like Taiwan, S. Korea, or Japan? Ideally, you want to manufacture your chips close to your customers.

        4. Nifty

          Re: Trade War

          Until supply from other countries ramps up there'd be a superb Renaissance of mobile repair and refurbishment, plus Android and IOS would need to stay light instead of the usual path to old-model obsolescence they usually take you on.

          Added to that, the impetus for automated electronics manufacture would sharply increase - could become more akin to the printing industry than ever.

          Nothing to fear whatsoever.

      4. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Trade War

        "China's possible trade blockade will only be a temporary disruption, not a catastrophe."

        Yet, news media will make it SEEM like the catastrophe that it is NOT.

        If I were Apple, I'd be 2nd-sourcing EVERYTHING. Or 3rd-sourcing. NOW. There's this other country just south of the USA that has a number of manufacturing sites, and it was only about a year ago that I read on 'El Reg' that THEY might just do these things better/cheaper than China... [and THEN they'll have enough money to 'build the wall']

        1. Michael Thibault

          Re: Trade War

          Annex. M^HAnnexico's southern border is much shorter.

          Profit.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trade War

      Well, this was absolutely predictable and was a pretty much inevitable outcome at some point. Although a bad play for China as Americans want those jobs to come back. I have difficulty having any sympathy for the Corporations that outsourced all their manufacturing.

    6. TRUESTORYASA

      Re: Trade War

      China's been run by cowards for the past 16yrs. I don't know what China's doing buyin apple to begin with, particularly with oppo, vivo, meizu, and huawei already available. I never buy apple and probably never will. I think its just ridiculous when a Chinese phone blows up, everyones like oh no, dont buy Chinese phones, but when a boeing blows up or crashes, no one says, oh no, dont buy american planes.

  2. redpawn Silver badge

    Thin Skin

    China will get Trump to over react and cause US citizens to be angry with him for their difficulty in getting a nice shiny I-thing. Trade rhetoric runs thin when it hits regular people in the smart phone. This may or may not lead to a negotiating advantage for China.

    Apple might be forced to diversify the location of its production centers in self defense. Trump has expressed no love for Apple and might enjoy punishing them for a while.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thin Skin

      An interesting conspiracy theory is that the GOP expect to be able to impeach Trump at some point. That will then promote the predictable hardline VP Pence.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-elections/donald-trump-prediction-professor-allan-lichtman-president-elect-impeached-a7412451.html

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Thin Skin

        That seems like political suicide on the face of it, but at least it would be amusing to watch!

        1. Indolent Wretch

          Re: Thin Skin

          Well... until Pence got his feet under the table, the man would be happier in Salem burning witches.

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Thin Skin

        An interesting conspiracy theory is that the GOP expect to be able to impeach Trump

        A very plausible theory I must say. But very very very risky.

      3. oldcoder

        Re: Thin Skin

        Should be done in the other order - impeach the VP, then impeach Trump.

        It has been done before (Nixon/Agnew) to get rid of two criminals.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thin Skin

          I too predicted impeachment IF Trump followed through on his more extreme campaign promises during the primaries. But since when has a president ever fulfilled a campaign promise? I think he was just trolling for attention, and it worked beautifully. With the Republicans taking Congress, and Trump predictably toning down his proposals, impeachment is off the table.

          I actually voted for Sanders then Trump, knowing neither could accomplish anything radical if elected, just doing my part to purge the rot from both parties. Including the people who voted for Sanders then Clinton, that's 75% of the voters. Nuke establishment politics, that's what people want. 75%.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thin Skin

      "Trump has expressed no love for Apple and might enjoy punishing them for a while."

      Yes but he's said no such thing about Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Ford, McDonalds and other billion dollar companies,

    3. Graham 25

      Re: Thin Skin

      Apple can diversify whatever it wants, but its supply chain resides in China by and large. The reason the iPhone costs so little to make is because all the components are made in the factory next door.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Impeaching Trump

        Why would democrats go along with impeaching Trump, presuming that he's not doing major damage to the country but is just simply incompetent to the point that the republicans would rather have Pence in charge? Or maybe they'd want to dump him if he doesn't toe the line as a "proper" republican.

        The democrats 1) do not want a religious extremist like Pence as president and 2) why should they help republicans by removing Trump if he's damaging the party? If Trump does a terrible job, it will be a democrat landslide in 2020, it would be stupid of them to give republicans the necessary votes (it takes 2/3 of the senate, not a majority) to convict if the republican house majority voted to impeach him like they did Clinton.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good. I hope they ban iPhones effective immediately. That would make my life much better.

    Maybe if they ban the iPhone and start seizing them that'll put a stop to the constant fraud out of Chinese criminals in regard to unlocked iPhones that I deal with constantly.

    So yes, please ban the iPhone China, hell go one better make it illegal to possess one. Do me and every other tech support rep in the US, UK, Philippines or India that deals with your citizens lying to them all day a huge favor.

    1. Dabooka Silver badge
      WTF?

      Erm

      What?

    2. agatum

      I hope they ban iPhones effective immediately. That would make my life much better.

      Huh?

      iPhones attack you and demand all your lunch money? You should be able to outrun the little muggers that are the smartphones. If not, ffs, lose some weight.

    3. oldcoder

      Since they are made in China, all that has to be done is impose an export tariff.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >Since they are made in China, all that has to be done is impose an export tariff.

        Because no-one will buy an iPhone if it's more expensive than similar phones from other manufacturers?

  4. Youngone Silver badge

    China knows something

    China is well aware who really runs the US government.

    If threats are made to the organizations that pay for it all, pressure will be bought on the politicians and the threats will stop.

    I did a quick search and it looks like Apple only spent $3.3 million lobbying in 2016, down on 2015,and only $1.4 million or so on campaign contributions, but I expect they were sure Hilary would win.

    If Apple need to grease some different palms for all this to stop, then that's what they'll do.

    It's how Washington works.

    1. Big John Silver badge

      Re: China knows something

      > "If threats are made to the organizations that pay for it all, pressure will be bought on the politicians and the threats will stop."

      Pay for what all? Bribery? PAC money? The usual corruption? We all just witnessed a candidate win without becoming beholden to that rotten DC machine. If Trump can do it, then others can too.

      1. Barry Rueger Silver badge

        Re: China knows something

        "We all just witnessed a candidate win without becoming beholden to that rotten DC machine."

        Until we've seen the paperwork reporting the campaign finances (the US has that?) we don't know that at all.

        Somehow getting hard information out of Trump has proved near impossible. Tax returns?

        Besides, it's hard to hire the head of the GOP to your staff and still credibly claim to not be part of that "rotten DC machine.

        1. Big John Silver badge

          Re: China knows something

          Most of that machine tried to destroy Trump after he was nominated, exposing them for what they are, but that GOP chairman was perceptive enough to buck the machine and support Trump. He was practically the only one in a high position to do it too.

      2. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: China knows something

        "Pay for what all? Bribery? PAC money? The usual corruption? We all just witnessed a candidate win without becoming beholden to that rotten DC machine. If Trump can do it, then others can too."

        You're joking I hope. Trump's campaign received sizable campaign donations and we already see how he is dishing out favours.

        And during the campaign foreigners were solicited for donations which is illegal. Reporters from the Daily Telegraph were even advised by his fund raisers how they could hide the origins of donations that came from China. Also illegal.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/24/exclusive-investigation-donald-trump-faces-foreign-donor-fundrai/

        So not only is his campaign no different from other campaigns, it's possibly far worse.

      3. oldcoder

        Re: China knows something

        Are you sure?

        The "honest" politician is one that when bought stays bought.

        Trump is known for refusing to pay those that are owed - so now those that "contributed" get stiffed. Guess what, nothing gets through Congress.

        And if some suitable dirt gets thrown, impeachment can follow, with possible jail terms afterward. The only reason Nixon avoided that was that Ford granted a pardon.

    2. William 3 Bronze badge

      Re: China knows something

      $3.3 million? Is that it.

      Even if they increased that by a factor of 10, it still pales into isignificance.

      Clinton received $1.3 BILLION for the 2016 election, and she still lost.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/campaign-finance/

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's some direct talk

    Which is *very* unusual in Far Eastern cultures.

    But then again, if they just see us as the bunch of monkeys we basically are, they will want to make sure we get the message.

    Furthermore, I see the comrades have a fine nose for bullshit:

    "To impose a 45 percent tariff on imports from China is merely campaign rhetoric. The greatest authority a US president has is to impose tariffs of up to 15 percent for 150 days on all imported goods and the limit can only be broken on the condition that the country is declared to be in a state of emergency. Other than that, a US president can only demand a tariff increase on individual commodities"

    Shouldn't one be worried when the lads halfway around the world know your executive laws better than the candidates for the post?

    1. Eric Olson

      Re: That's some direct talk

      There was a WSJ report the other day (or attributed to the WSJ through a generally reliable reported elsewhere) that Trump and his team were floored by what a President and his staff does, and what is required to fill the jobs to support the White House. Because of this, President Obama will be in an advisory role for the transition.

      I don't know what's worse, that Trump was so clueless about the job he campaigned for, or that his team, filled with creatures of Washington and the halls of power, have been throwing stones since the first Clinton presidency without any idea of what they were even throwing at.

      1. SundogUK

        Re: That's some direct talk

        Link or it didn't happen.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          http://www.wsj.com/articles/leading-contender-for-donald-trump-s-chief-of-staff-is-rnc-chairman-reince-priebus-1479069597

          Best to google the article title as you can get in free to WSJ articles through google search results.

          This is the bit of interest anyway.

          "During their private White House meeting on Thursday, Mr. Obama walked his successor through the duties of running the country, and Mr. Trump seemed surprised by the scope, said people familiar with the meeting. Trump aides were described by those people as unaware that the entire presidential staff working in the West Wing had to be replaced at the end of Mr. Obama’s term.

          After meeting with Mr. Trump, the only person to be elected president without having held a government or military position, Mr. Obama realized the Republican needs more guidance. He plans to spend more time with his successor than presidents typically do, people familiar with the matter said."

          1. UncleZoot

            And President Barry was a Congressman for two years and an elected Senator for another tow years of which he spent 18 months running for president.

            I highly doubt that Trump thought that the staff remained behind. He wouldn't want them imo, since they are an unknown entity to him.

            Successful business people have a greater understanding of how things work than the common man.

            Rodney Dangerfield in one of his movies decided to go to college with his son. He took a business course and the professor was citing text book, theory how business works. Dangerfield mouthed off that the professor didn't know shit, as the way business runs if knowing the right people to grease.

            Trump knows the game. He'll surround himself with the best minds and unlike others before him, govern using the best advise given. Trump has a huge ego, but he won't let ego get into the way when it comes to success.

            1. Tatsky

              Typically when a Businessman takes over an organisation the incumbent management team are retained, normally under some sort of 2-3 year contractual agreement so that the "knowledge" and "IP" retained by these people is not lost.

              Trump may well have been operating under the assumption that he would come in as the new CEO to that management team, use their experience to get things done, but with his strategy bolted on top.

              As he has never held elected office, and has over the years managed, bought up and strategised for large corporations, it is reasonable to assume that he saw this like any other take over. Also, he is arrogant enough to assume he knows everything. He has the best brain remember, and he is smart, the smartest people, and he has all those great words.

              1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

                Running a big business is not like running a country. There are quite a lot of things to it that are basically the same, so skills and experience from business can be transferred and applied. However, there are a lot of other tings that are quite different. Some come from the good old checks-and-balances rules, some are systemic. So yeah, learning curve and hard work ahead.

            2. midcapwarrior

              "Trump has a huge ego, but he won't let ego get into the way when it comes to success."

              6 bankruptcies say otherwise

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "6 bankruptcies say otherwise"

                Yawn. 6 companies he (partly) owned failed, possibly through the fault of other owners or managers, and had to be shut down in an orderly fashion, i.e. bankruptcy.

                If you start a company and it fails, which almost all do, you'll do the same.

                1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                  Bankruptcies in real estate aren't failures they are more likely to be a success

                  An opportunity to avoid paying creditors and suppliers while snapping up the assets for a song from the receivers - it's just another way that smart people don't pay the bill

            3. oldcoder

              He has before. Multiple declarations of bankruptcy show that.

      2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: That's some direct talk

        > Trump was so clueless about the job he campaigned for

        Gosh, you are right - this is just like Brexit!

      3. Captain Badmouth
        WTF?

        Re: That's some direct talk

        "Trump and his team were floored by what a President and his staff does, and what is required to fill the jobs to support the White House."

        According to The Times (London), they also didn't realise that the whole of the west wing white house staff had to be replaced. Edit: beaten to it by ac, only by a day though. :)

    2. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge

      Re: That's some direct talk

      Well its from the Global Times, which is basically the loudest propaganda mouthpiece for the party. If it was from Xinhua, I might be a little concerned, but the Global Times is usually extremely inflammatory. Its not uncommon from them at all.

      I wouldn't say they knew that much about our executive laws to be honest. They haven't figured out that the US is indeed under a State of Emergency which in their legal opinion (which is probably misinformed) would allow the Executive Branch to raise tarriffs to 45%, actually we're under a whole slew of them. I don't think anyone ever terminated any of the pre-1976 National Emergencies and there are several from after the 1976 National Emergencies Act that are in effect according to the Congressional Research Service,

      Hell, I'm pretty sure Harry Truman's national emergency about Korea specifically targets China and is still in effect, and that's from 1950.

  6. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    And theres the deficit

    Which China funds and Trump wants to increase. China would lose a lot doing it, but they could dump their U S treasury holdings and spike interest rates. I would have preferred a candidate that got our deficit spending in order, and then went after Chinese imports.

    1. Eric Olson

      Re: And theres the deficit

      There is no value to a lender to encourage a borrower to borrow more. Further borrowing only devalues the existing debt and increases the likelihood of default. I never understood this line of thinking, other than to attribute it vapid talk radio hosts and people trying to sound smart.

      Back in the real world, China wants a strong dollar to make Chinese imports to the US cheaper and increasing market share. The US wants a weaker dollar (especially right now) to spur domestic production and export. Only the latter is achieved by increased debt issuance. China bought US debt in order to suppress its own currency, not to encourage further debt issuance by the US.

      And as a preemptive strike, a country is not like a household; debt is just one more type of investment that can be made, especially in a low interest rate environment like today. Why do you think Apple, with it's mountains of cash, issued billions in bonds rather than dip into their cash reserves?

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: And theres the deficit

        "Why do you think Apple, with it's mountains of cash, issued billions in bonds rather than dip into their cash reserves?"

        Because the cash is sunning itself on a beach in a tax haven, and debt has favourable tax status.

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: And theres the deficit

        There is no value to a lender to encourage a borrower to borrow more.

        Correct in the world of finance.

        Not so correct in the word of politics, especially if you are taking a very long term view. As an example, one of the (usually not discussed) real reasons for the Soviet Block downfall was that in the late 70-es the countries were allowed to start borrowing based on projected GDP, not actual. So borrowing more money became as simple as declaring the next 5 year plan to produce 7% annual growth (yeah, bollocks). The west took upon the opportunity with glee and as a result by mid-80-es the whole Soviet block was so deeply in debt that it could not fulfill its interest payments. The rest as they say... is history.

        China has been doing the same to the US for a while now. It will be interesting to see how it pans up. Popcorn.

  7. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Even in Canada

    There are calls for a trade war.

    If the US keeps stalling on lumber and wants to tear up NAFTA there a bunch of people that want a Canadian Jones Act and require internal flights to be on Canadian built planes.

    Forcing airlines to replace all the 737s with C series is very popular in Montreal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Even in Canada

      YAAC "Forcing airlines to replace all the 737s with C series"

      Air Canada has approximately 'nil' 737s, about 77 Boeings, and about 150 various Bombardier aircraft.

      Westjet, a.k.a. Turkish prison cell with wings, has over 100 737s.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Chinese don't lose

    They just don't

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: The Chinese don't lose

      A trade war is no different to a military war; you can't win, you just hope to lose less badly than the other guys.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: The Chinese don't lose

        A trade war is no different to a military war

        A trade war between major powers in the nuclear age you mean.

        Plenty of trade wars are still being won as we speak. Though they are probably not wars. They are "police actions" - a major power beating a banana republic into submission economically instead of financing yet another junta.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: The Chinese don't lose

      China have been losing since about 1420 (if memory serves). A little over a century ago, China was losing so badly that the main Western powers actually had enclaves in Peking (as then was) to make it easier to tell the puppet government what to do. Since then, they've imported the least effective political philosophy to come of the West in recent centuries, tried out a return to slave-owning economics and are now tasting unfettered klepto-kapitalism.

      At no point have they tried Rule of Law or Democratic Government. You don't have to be *that* much of a wet liberal to wonder if it is any co-incidence that nearly all of the countries to have shat upon them from a great height over the past 200 years (all barring Imperial Japan as far as I can see) have dabbled in such dark arts.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Chinese don't lose

        all of the countries to have shat upon them from a great height over the past 200 years

        They all shat and they all passed away. You fail to understand the difference between Chinese viewpoint and Western.

        Mongolian invaders? Conquerers? Chengiz Khan? So what... You will be gone in another 200 years. We will be still here. We were here 2000 years ago, we will be here 2000 years later, we are the ETERNAL Empire. Got any questions?

        It is the "USA did not win the war, Italy won the war" Joseph Heller's Catch 22 raised to the Nth degree.

        They do it in politics, they do it in business too. A USA company board has no choice but to deliver profits this quarter. They will be sued on failing their fudiciary duty otherwise.

        Compared to that large Chinese companies are in this for the long run. It is not exactly KleptoCapitalism. It is more of a patient feudal empire building. Yes, the initial is "yes, yes, yes we can do it" answer to any tender. 10 years later, when they are the last man standing they can slowly start cranking up the levers. 10 year, 100 years, 200 years if need be. And bugger the fudiciary duty gently sidewize with a chainsaw.

        Coming back to the "westerners having enclaves" - any of them having them now? Do not think so. I do see enclaves being built in the west though. Same as Chengiz Khan. They came, they went, China remained.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Chinese don't lose

        >China have been losing since about 1420 (if memory serves).

        Vietnam and Korea were proxy wars between US and China, your memory is selective.

        >At no point have they tried Rule of Law or Democratic Government.

        It's not a good place to challenge the Rule of Law - the cost of governmental failure in China (65 million starved civilians) is still within the living memory of the current ruling elite - and looking West they are probably right to be scared of Democracy right now.

  9. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Perhaps Tim Cook saw the Runes

    and that is why Apple (+ Foxconn) will soon announce iDevice production in India.

    I'm sure they could even move one of their very mechanised (with robots) plants to the USA. Robots don't care where they work. Would that satisfy Drump? Probably not but it would be nice PR. "Apple is helping 'make America Great'"

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Perhaps Tim Cook saw the Runes

      Musk made (to my astonishment) an interesting point. He noted that if all manufacturing were automated, we'd have to pay a basic wage to everyone just for living. That'd be especially true if all agriculture were automated too.

      That'd be either extremely unhealthy, or very far sighted, or both.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Perhaps Tim Cook saw the Runes

        @ bazza: Sorry but that view is complete bollocks. There will be periods of upheaval, but moving to automation is a far smaller change over then the industrial revolution when the creation of artificial fertilisers and other advanced farming implements reduced the amount of staff needed on farms to produce the same yields. In those days, 90% of people were involved in some aspect of agriculture. When that reduced, there was mass upheaval, but new jobs sprang up, factories opened, and cities blossomed.

        Our economies are far more diverse now. Even without shop floor manufacturing jobs, new industries will open up. Some people will get caught out, no doubt. But the vast majority will move into other sectors.

        All these predictions of doom and gloom because of automation, completely ignore the historical precedents. Automation is already here, and its take over will continue at a similar rate, the world will adjust, new industries will appear and people will move on. No need for the basic wage, it's a concept that totally ignores history and reality...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Perhaps Tim Cook saw the Runes

        Too right. Since all that is manufactured emanates from this earth which birthed us, then it is only right that the living be compensated for the industrial rape upon this earth being committed in the name of profit by machines. A tax on machines, not people. Suits me.

      3. Duffy Moon

        Re: Perhaps Tim Cook saw the Runes

        Universal Basic Income then? I think it will be adopted by more and more countries before too long.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Perhaps Tim Cook saw the Runes

      >and that is why Apple (+ Foxconn) will soon announce iDevice production in India.

      Foxconn are certainly moving big on plant to manufacturer mobiles for the Indian market - they only make a couple of billion US (and falling) from manufacturing for Apple. They are set to make very much more producing (far cheaper than i) phones for the Indian market.

      Apple's strategy for India is making vanity apps for Modi and pushing renovated (re-manufactured) Apple kit to higher end of the mass market.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Perhaps Tim Cook saw the Runes

      That will not help him if Trump starts a trade war.

      Half of the components are still made in China. India is only assembling.

  10. Jemma Silver badge

    ....Apple in a Luton lock up...

    And so it begins...

    I never thought in my wildest dreams I'd be thanking Trump for something..

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Few things i think are being missed in all this....

    How long is manufacturing going to be a human process. The levels of automation are already pretty high so any manufacturing job in the next 10 years may be up for the chop.

    China has got rich on being the world's factory, their middle class is growing. The poorest people are less poor than they were. The cheap labour is a finite resource, again something that 10 years will show.

    Overall, jobs globally are declining, we're just getting more efficient.

    Any politician that is not talking a basic state wage and clinging to the union view of "jobs jobs jobs" is going to be bitten on the arse when they can't provide them.

  12. x 7 Silver badge

    How does the value of what Apple purchases from China compare with what it sells there? Is there any degree of parity?

    1. midcapwarrior

      How does the value of what Apple purchases from China compare with what it sells there?

      If there was any degree of parity Apple wouldn't be the richest company in the world.

      The value and subsequent sales price of a finished good generally exceeds that of it's components. If not bankruptcy is a matter of time.

  13. smartypants

    Wall builders

    And their wrecking ways.

    We know that everyone building walls around each other makes everyone worse off.

    And when one idiot does it, it makes it more likely that idiots elsewhere will.

    So we have a choice in 2017.

    Say no to the wall builders. The nationalists. The xenophobia. Or welcome in the new depression.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wall builders

      Or trade with the largest wall builder of them all.

  14. Marcus Fil
    Coat

    Oh the forces of Chaos

    However bad things seem to get there is always an upside. Now I suspect Donald 'J' has only a tenuous grasp on the intricacies of international trade, but so what? If Apple get wedged between a populist president and an understandably miffed China it could be good news. Those Chinese factories that churn out Apple goods will need to be redeployed to keep China in noodles. With the gloves off why should China respect US IPR? Which means the Chinese could make a MacBook Pro clone, and fix all the problems with the 2016 Design Fail Pro about which Apple seems deaf to criticism. See win, win! Never thought I could grow to love the strangely quiffed, orange blusterer.

  15. David Roberts Silver badge

    China - short term problem?

    Manufacturing has traditionally moved constantly from wealth to poverty.

    Back in the (way back) day cheap stuff was made in Hong Kong. Japan was also a source of cheap manufactured goods. PC production was moved between poor countries.

    1) Find dirt poor country and get government grant to build factory

    2) Employ local dirt cheap labour

    3) Profit

    4) Raise local wealth, standard of living, basic wage demands, level of education

    5) Less profit

    Rinse and repeat.

    The main question is which country will replace China, and when.

    It won't be the USA until they out compete all other countries for points (1) and (2).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: China - short term problem?

      There was time when UK TV production went that way via the FarEast - and eventually came back to Wales.

  16. Doc Ock

    I thought Apple were doing a reasonably good job of ruining themselves without China's help.

  17. HausWolf

    Actually, with his high profile bankruptcies it looks like his ego has gotten the best of him more than once.

  18. sisk Silver badge

    Well one thing's for sure: either he'll surprise most people with college educations and be one of our best Presidents or he'll be one of our worst. There will be no in between here. Either way he's going to be noteworthy. I'm hoping strongly for the former. We're stuck with him for the next 4 years either way, so let's hope that he does well. Otherwise we're in trouble.

  19. nilfs2
    Coat

    Trump is a moron

    Nobody likes him but the ignorants that voted from him, he won't be able to deliver all the stupid things he promised, he'll be just selling his image like he has been doing for a long time.

  20. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

    FIPPA

    Canada signed a long-term trade deal (called FIPPA) with China. We're ... (rhymes with 'crude'). So totally .... Keep your peckers up, United Statesians, your battle is yet to be fought.

  21. Howard Hanek
    Childcatcher

    What is the Chinese Name For Kabuki?

    "Thou dost protest too much!"

    Thou should'st have killed all the lawyers.

  22. William 3 Bronze badge

    So, basically Blackmail.

    Should anyone tell China what they are, they will confirm what they are by acting exactly like you said they would.

    Commies for you.

    A bit like Clinton Supporters really.

    And over half the fools on these comments section judging by the idiotic ramblings I read so often.

    Typical Left Wingers, can't stand being exposed for what they really are.

    Pathetic.

    1. smartypants

      Re: So, basically Blackmail.

      You seem to miss the point that people are just the same the world over, and if you piss on someone's head, they're likely to reciprocate. It really isn't about left versus right.

      It's about stupidity and sense.

  23. Nocroman

    Grow up China

    The world leaders have grown so dependent on the USA that the least little change for the good of our country throws them into a tantrum. We have hired Donald Trump to do what is right for America for a change. Not take care of and give U.S dollars away so often that we have put ourselves and our children deep in debt. The world thinks they have suffered because they have wars and refugee's and always expect the United States of America to bail their asses out with troops or money and goods. Well someone has to give all that money for those goods and to give away to those in the world that have Begun to feel that they are ENTITLED to everything the USA can be begged or demanded out of.

    The American people have put their foot down. We want more of our money to raise our own children and give them what we didn't have when we grew up. we want food on the table, jobs to work and decent homes to live in, and good schools with great teachers to educate our children. It's time American comes first. Too many people and countries have cut in line forcing themselves to the front of the line at the cost of our standard of living. It's is partially our fault as we let those we hired in Washington continue to listen to the bleeding heart stories and give the American standard of living and our jobs away to the world. Letting in people that are a constant drain on our society using programs they are not entitled to as they are not American citizens. It's not their fault that there are not enough jobs for both Americans and them. Hell there are not enough jobs for just the American workers alone. We want these illegal immigrants to go home and fight for their rights, build their own countries economy so they have jobs and a decent society. Kick the bad leaders out of office in their country and stop bitching about our leaders that we just hired to fix our economy so we can enjoy life once again where mothers can stay at home and do the most important job in the world. Raise our children to be kind, loving trustworthy decent adults. Once you illegal immigrants have built up your own countries economy and stop fighting among each other over power, then come back and visit us. We will welcome you with open arms and make sure you enjoy your visit before you go back home.

    Isis, you want your own nation. Then pick a chunk of land and set up a government and stop all the murdering of innocents. Make laws for your country. The world may not like you , but at least you will not have to kill or die for no other reason than a flawed interpretation of the Koran.

    Trade with us fairly if you want too. But otherwise, The American dollar stops at our borders. NO MOR HANDOUTS until the United states of America is out of debt and our economy is strong enough to support our own people. That is the orders we have given to President Elect Donald J. Trump.

    1. oldcoder

      Re: Grow up China

      Are you ready for China to call in the national debt?

      Around 1.2 trillion dollars worth?

      and if the US defaults on it - the US will be unable to buy anything - oil, iron, shoes, cloths, cars,...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Grow up China

        Remind which country is begging the other country to give it shiny toys and promises to pay it back when it can afford to ?

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Grow up China

      China? It was American companies that sent American job to China and got tax breaks to so. China did not take them

    3. Captain Badmouth
      Holmes

      Re: Grow up China

      "The world thinks they have suffered because they have wars and refugee's and always expect the United States of America to bail their asses out with troops or money and goods."

      Tell us again who made you invade Iraq.

  24. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    "should Trump make good on his campaign promise"

    No need for China to worry overmuch. The President Elect has been busy all weekend publicly backing away from just about everything he promised in his campaign rallies.

    Hillary Clinton is now, and I quote from a TV interview, "good people".

    He also no longer "hears things", even on social media. In that same interview he expressed mild surprise at and complete ignorance of several high-profile hate crimes that had been perpetrated by supporters. I expect his ears are ringing from people explaining how hard the job of president actually is.

  25. Ralph Online

    Basic problem....

    1) The Yuan has been kept low to encourage exports/discourage imports into China.

    2) Chinese Central Bank has essentially kept it's reserves in US$ and in the US. Built up by accepting the $$$$ from the Chinese exporters.

    3) If the Yuan was allowed to rise in value then these assets are correspondingly devalued.

    4) Therefore it's virtually unthinkable for the Chinese Central Bank to allow the Yuan to rise.

    BIG problem....

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Countries do not just borrow from other countries, a very large part of the debt is simply created by central banks out of thin air. If the US has enough weapons, and people still need the dollar to buy oil it can do what it wants. China is encircled by US bases. Neoliberalism and globalism have run their course. There was never any real sound economics behind what was a short term racket for the few, and no long term political sustainability once the middle classes started becoming worse off.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We can't let the Chinese win

    I can't believe that we actually do business (and let them get involved in our Nuclear reactors) with a country that is so hostile to the West. They openly threaten other nations and constantly stirring up trouble.

    They (The Chinese) pull all sorts of nasty tricks to come out ahead. Currency manipulations, preventing Western companies from buying Chinese companies etc.

    We trade with a government that doesn't even allow people to access the internet or have different viewpoints.

    I really really hope we can tell China to FO back to their own nasty politics. I for one would happily pay an extra 15% to get it manufactured elsewhere.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019