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

The CEO Economic Outlook Index, a gauge of business confidence of big US corporations issued quarterly by the Washington-based Business Roundtable, decreased 5.7 points in the second quarter to a value of 89.5.

Mr Trump has said he wants to meet Mr Xi there and will decide on whether to extend tariffs to nearly all Chinese imports after that.

A Walmart store logo is seen on the building of a Walmart Supercenter in Rosemead, California on May 23, 2019.

With less than three weeks to go before talks between Chinese and USA leaders, expectations for progress toward ending the trade war are low. Sources have told Reuters that there has been little preparation for a meeting even as the health of the world economy is at stake.

"We remain concerned about the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs", the letter reads.

The United States kicked off a tariff battle with China in 2018, seeking sweeping structural changes from Beijing. "Tariffs are taxes paid directly by US companies ... not China", they said.

With less than three weeks to go before proposed talks between the Chinese and US leaders, expectations for progress toward ending the trade war are low.

Cook is a frequent visitor to the White House and has worked with Ivanka Trump on her job training and education initiatives.

Though many retailers are putting on a fearless face, many have said in recent weeks and months that the new tariffs would force them to raise prices, resulting in higher costs paid by United States consumers for the same items.

On a Tuesday (June 11th) tweet, US President Donald Trump said, "Tariffs are a great negotiating tool", however his comments came forth just a day after he had pledged to impose a 25 percent tariff hike on all of the Chinese imports, unless Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a G20 summit scheduled later this month in Japan. Such tariffs would also affect domestic manufacturers - considering that many materials necessary for production are sourced through China and unavailable in the US - as well as footwear jobs, with a number of member companies already making attempts to relocate their supply chains outside of China.

The companies and groups said in the letter that they support Mr Trump's efforts to hold trading partners accountable, but that both sides will lose in an escalated trade war.

The letter, which is titled "Tariffs hurt the heartland", comes in reaction to last month when the two countries repeatedly threatened to increase tariffs on one another as trade negotiations between the two economic juggernauts have stalled.