President Donald Trump agrees with Apple that potential tariffs on Chinese imports could make its gadgets more expensive, but he says the tech company can fix the problem by moving production to the U.S. "Start building new plants now", the POTUS tweeted. This is on top of a second round of tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods the Trump administration is preparing, and $50 billion in tariffs that have already been imposed. "Because all tariffs ultimately show up as a tax on U.S. consumers, they will increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives", the tech giant added.
Forecasters had said China's sales to the United States, its largest national export market, might weaken after manufacturers rushed to fill orders ahead of Trump's first tariff hike July 6.
Notably, the iPhone was not cited as part of Apple's potentially impacted devices, possibly because of an exemption the Trump administration promised to negotiate on behalf of Apple earlier this year.
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Apple, the world's most valuable company, claims products including its Watch, AirPods headphones, HomePod smart speakers and Mac mini computers likely would be hit by the tariffs. This, however, only refers to Apple, the iPhone, and the other Apple products.
"We hope, instead, that you will reconsider these measures and work to find other, more effective solutions that leave the USA economy and USA consumer stronger and healthier than ever before". To a certain extent it's going to be up to China", he said, "And I hate to say this, but behind that is another $267 billion ready to go on short notice, if I want.
That's what the company told US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a letter dated Wednesday, a last-ditch appeal to avoid additional tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion that could go into effect as soon as Friday.
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China regularly runs deficits with many of its trading partners that supply oil, industrial components and other imports and pays for those by running a surplus with the United States and Europe.
That could help reignite USA demands that Beijing narrow its trade gap, which has temporarily been overshadowed by their clash over complaints China steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.
"We are puzzled as to why the Administration may be using tariffs in part to re-engineer global ICT (information, communication and technology) supply chains that have served USA companies so well".
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"Tariffs increase the cost of our US operations, divert our resources and disadvantage Apple foreign competitors", the company said.