Trump says Apple won't be exempt from tariffs for products made in China

Trump says Apple won't be exempt from tariffs for products made in China
© UPI Photo

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE on Friday rejected Apple's request to exempt parts of its new Mac Pro from import tariffs after the company said it is planning to move some production to China.

"Apple will not be given Tariff waivers, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China," Trump tweeted. "Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!"

Apple shares dipped immediately after Trump's tweet.

ADVERTISEMENT

In filings made public this week, Apple asked the U.S. trade representative's office to exclude components of Apple's new Mac Pro from the list of products that could be hit by tariffs of 25 percent amid Trump's ongoing trade war with Beijing.

The Mac Pro has been manufactured in the U.S. for the past several years, but Apple last month moved some production of the devices to China.

Apple has increasingly found itself at the center of the U.S.-China trade war as its products land on lists expected to be hit by significant tariffs.

The U.S. and China have been engaged in a tit-for-tat trade war for the last several months, with the Trump administration levying billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese goods and Beijing imposing retaliatory duties on American products.

The geopolitical struggle has been a test of Apple CEO Tim Cook's clout within the Trump administration. The president has often professed his admiration for Cook and touted his work on a White House workforce council. But Trump's tweet Friday indicates their personal relationship might not protect Apple from being swept up in the trade war.

Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese imports, which, if implemented, would affect the iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, AppleTV and more. Apple last month asked the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to exclude those products from Trump’s tariff hit list, arguing the cost would harm Apple’s ability to compete with Chinese companies such as Huawei and chip away at the American company's ability to contribute to the U.S. economy. 

The price for Apple products would likely spike if the tariffs are implemented. 

U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerGOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 Pelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTreasury staffer quits after being implicated in college admissions scandal: report China doesn't need World Bank's loans, just as Trump says Trump admin hits Iranian shipping network, airline with new sanctions MORE will travel to Shanghai on Tuesday to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He for the first high-level, in-person trade negotiating session since talks collapsed in May.

—Updated at 3:49 p.m. Emily Birnbaum contributed.