Apple Issues Letter Responding to President Trump’s Proposed Tarrifs

Hannah Rogers
September 11, 2018

When US President Trump first tossed out the idea of starting a trade war with China, there was a serious chance those taxes would impact the prices of gadgets in the US.

Speaking with reporters on Air Force One during a midterm election campaign trip, Trump said he was "ready to go" on the additional tariffs "if I want".

And then he went further, saying he's also ready to hit another 267 billion worth of imports right after. "That totally changes the equation".

Stock prices slipped after his comments, with the S&P 500 off 0.2 percent, while China's off-shore trade yuan currency fell against the dollar.

Computer and phone makers are involved in a global supply chain that includes Chinese manufacturing, and that can not be easily excluded without harm to United States companies, Intel said in a letter to the trade representative.

His comments contradict the more diplomatic remarks earlier Friday from his top economic adviser Larry Kudlow who said talks with Beijing are continuing to try to defuse the conflict, and that he was hopeful that a solution could be found. President Trump also expects to meet with leaders in Europe next week to discuss cross-Atlantic trade tensions. This amount would be in addition to previously-implemented tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods.

Mobile phones aren't amongst the products, but they would be captured if Trump puts into effect the $267 billion list he warned about.

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States' trade deficit with China hit a record high in July 2018, with U.S. imports of Chinese goods rising year over year and Chinese imports of U.S. goods falling over the same period.

"The public comment period, which is closed as of today, will force a delay before the final tariff list is published as the USA trade representative works to address the multitude of comments received and potentially makes slight alterations to the initial proposal", Height said in a Thursday note.

Apple laid out the impact on its products of the Trump administration's proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in an unsigned letter it submitted on Wednesday to USA officials as part of a public comment period. The iPhone maker said the tariffs will eventually lead to more expensive Apple products.

The new duties will start to hit consumer products directly, including furniture, lighting products, tires, bicycles, and vehicle seats for babies. While every element of the report remains highly significant, there will be a special focus on wage growth. The US imported $505 billion in goods from China previous year.

"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 USA consumers", Apple said in the letter. "These are taxes and they're going to find their way into the pocket book of folks around the country", French said. The US products targeted by China include coal, copper scrap, fuel, buses and medical equipment.

Trump remains confident he can win his trade war with China-one reason he's willing to press it during a midterm election year, even though criticism of his tactics is mounting in key states and districts.

And Mr. Trump said he's winning the escalating battle over trade policy between the USA and China, but said he has more trade sanctions in the works. "However, hope springs eternal".

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