Trump tells Apple to make products in US to avoid China tariffs

09 September, 2018, 03:41 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • US President Donald Trump

Apple has warned that proposed United States tariffs on China could force it to raise the price of many of its products.

The Trump administration has placed punitive tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods and threatened to tax all Chinese imports to the United States.

The company told trade officials in a letter on Friday that the proposed tariffs would affect prices for a "wide range" of Apple products, including its watch. It makes many of its products for the USA market in China, and it also sells gadgets including the iPhone in China, making them a potential target for Chinese retaliation against the Trump tariffs.

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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday the Trump administration would evaluate the public comments before making any decisions on the new proposed tariffs.

China's trade surplus with the United States reached US$31 billion in August, an 18.7 per cent increase from the same month last year and up from its previous record, US$28.9 billion, in June this year, according to customs data.

Trump is urging the Cupertino-based company to "start building new plants now".

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"Our concern with these tariffs is that the US will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower USA growth and competitiveness and higher prices for US consumers", Apple said in the letter. But 2018 imports from China through July were up almost 9% over the same period of 2017, according to US Census Bureau data. Cook's personal diplomacy stands in stark contrast to some of his peers in the tech industry, who haven't engaged Trump directly - and often are on the receiving end of far more aggressive tweets attacking their business practices.

Cell phones are the biggest US import from China, and so far they've been spared.

Then he added: "I hate to say this, but behind that there is another $267bn ready to go on short notice if I want".

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Economists and investors have, according to the Guardian, expressed concern over the standoff between the two countries, warning that the trade war could derail the global market and provoke more counter-tariffs to Trump tariffs. That totally changes the equation.

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