This week, Apple said that the tariffs would amount to a 25 percent tax on products like the Apple Pencil, AirPods, Apple Watch, HomePod, Mac Mini, and others (or individual components used in them) shipped to the United States, and that those costs would likely be passed along to customers.
Speaking just hours after the period for public reactions to the $200 billion China duties list he had set ended, Trump told reporters overseas Air Force One that he was "being strong on China because [he had] to be". "That totally changes the equation". The company said on its website that it spent over $50 billion for goods purchased from US suppliers previous year.
The White House has accused China of stealing US intellectual property and forcing American companies to share their technology with Chinese companies. The U.S. imported US$505 billion of Chinese products in 2017, Census Bureau figures show.
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, but it did not mention the iPhone. If that pace continued for the remainder of this year, Chinese imports would top $548 billion - leaving Trump a bit short of complete coverage of Chinese goods. "The U.S.is moving higher", Lawrence Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said on CNBC. Apple, which is set to unveil new iPhones and other products on September 12, said this would put it at a disadvantage relative to foreign competitors, and that the United States would be hit the hardest by taxing these categories. An intensified trade war would likely hurt the US more than China, according to S&P Global Ratings.
Last year, a New York University student who worked undercover in an iPhone factory reported that he made $450 per month.
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The surplus with the United States was larger than China's net surplus for the month, indicating China would be running a deficit if trade with the world's largest economy was excluded. Beijing has threatened to retaliate with duties on $60 billion in American products. The company has not announced plans to move manufacturing from China to the U.S.
US trade officials are juggling a number of high-profile files, in addition to the China tariffs, at the same time as the president tries to tamp down reports of resistance to his agenda from within his own administration.
USA companies are joining forces to oppose a common threat-tariffs.
The Trump administration recently reached a deal with the government of Mexico on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, and it continues its talks with Canada towards the same goal.
Some business groups greeted the president's latest tariff threats with dismay.