President Trump to Apple, “Start building new plants now. Exciting!
Yes, some Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) products may become more expensive if The Trump Administration imposes “massive” additional tariffs on Chinese-made goods, but President Trump says the tech company can fix the problem by moving production to the US.
“Start building new plants now. Exciting!” President Trump said Saturday in a Tweet aimed at Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook.
This week, Apple said that a proposed new round of $200-B in additional tariffs on Chinese imports would raise prices on some of its products, including the Apple Watch and the Mac mini.
The company is highly exposed to the US-China trade dispute.
Apple makes many of its products for the US 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.
President Trump Tweeted Saturday that “Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China — but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive,” if the company made its products in the US instead of China.
That is an offer that Tim Cook cannot refuse.
Apple has not respond to a request for comment.
To date, Apple has not announced plans to move manufacturing from China to the US.
In its letter this week to the Office of the US Trade Representative, Apple said that “because all tariffs ultimately show up as a tax on US consumers, they will increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives.”
The company said tariffs would hit “a wide range of Apple products,” including computers, watches, adapters, chargers and tools used in its US manufacturing, repair and data centers. Apple said the tariffs would raise the cost of its US operations and put it at a disadvantage to foreign rivals.
The Presidential Tweet is the latest salvo in a dispute between The Trump Administration and companies that fear tariffs will hurt their business.
The Trump Administration has imposed tariffs of $50-B on imports from China, mostly equipment and material used by manufacturers.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in July that those measures had no effect on Apple.
However, the Cupertino-California company is concerned about The Trump Administration’s proposal to add 25% duties on another $200-B in Chinese goods, including a wider assortment of consumer-related items, that are ready to go into effect now.
China’s trade surplus with the United States widened to a record in August even as the country’s export growth slowed slightly, an outcome that could push President Donald Trump to turn up the heat on Beijing in their trade dispute.
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Have a terrific weekend.