Apple CEO Tim Cook on Saturday urged China and the US to stay calm amid fears of a possible trade war between the world’s top two economies over import tariffs.
Tension between the two countries mounted after US President Donald Trump announced tariffs on up to $60 billion worth of Chinese goods annually to counter Beijing’s allegedly unfair trade practices in the technology sector.
“I’m aware that in both the cases of US and China, there have been cases where everyone hasn’t benefited, where the benefit hasn’t been balanced,” Cook said on the sidelines of the China Development Forum, which is being held from March 24 to 26 in Beijing.
“My belief is that one plus one equals three,” he was cited as saying by Xinhua news agency, adding that “the pie gets larger if working together”.
The US government had previously announced tariffs of 10 and 25 per cent on steel and aluminium imports respectively.
In response to these tariffs, China had announced it was considering tariffs of up to $3 billion on imports of some US goods to compensate for losses caused by the US government’s heavy tariffs on steel and aluminium products from China.
China had also threatened to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization, citing the new US tariff package as possible interference in international trade practices.
Cook called countries to embrace openness, trade and diversity, hoping that “calm heads will prevail” in trade relations between China and the US.
More attention should be paid to inequality and the reasons behind it, which over time will “lift everyone up”, he said.
The back-to-back announcements of tariffs in Washington and Beijing had a negative impact on stock markets worldwide, many of which closed in the red on Friday, including Dow Jones at Wall Street, that fell 1.77 per cent.