Apple seeks to exempt products including iPhone from proposed tariffs

Apple seeks to exempt products including iPhone from proposed tariffs
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Apple is asking the U.S. government to exclude its products — including the mega-popular iPhone — from President TrumpDonald John TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report MORE's next round of proposed tariffs on Chinese imports.

In a letter made public on Thursday, the tech giant wrote that the tariffs could give an advantage to Apple's Chinese competitors as well as reduce Apple's contributions to the U.S. economy. 

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"U.S. tariffs would also weigh on Apple’s global competitiveness," Apple wrote to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. "The Chinese producers we compete with in global markets do not have a significant presence in the U.S. market, and so would not be impacted by U.S. tariffs. Neither would our other major non-U.S. competitors."

"A U.S. tariff would, therefore, tilt the playing field in favor of our global competitors," the company wrote. 

The company is asking Lighthizer to strike Apple products from Trump's proposed tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports, which, if implemented, would affect the iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, AppleTV and more.

"Apple’s products are used by American families, students, businesses, government agencies, schools, and hospitals to communicate, teach, improve health outcomes, and enhance creativity and enterprise," Apple wrote, noting that the company is "the largest U.S. corporate taxpayer to the U.S. Treasury" and has pledged to contribute $350 billion over five years to the country's economy. 

"We urge you not to proceed with these tariffs," the company wrote. 

This week, numerous companies have testified to the U.S. trade representative against the proposed tariffs, with businesses arguing they depend on Chinese imports for part of their supply chains. 

The companies are raising concerns that more tariffs could result in higher prices for customers and lower revenues.

Apple has an advantage over other companies in some ways, considering the company's CEO Tim Cook has a close relationship with Trump. In February, Cook joined the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, a White House body tasked with helping to develop a "21st century workforce" plan. The board, which includes other CEOs, is co-chaired by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpPrivate equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program: report Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill On The Money: Economy sheds 701K jobs in March | Why unemployment checks could take weeks | Confusion surrounds 9B in small-business loans MORE, Trump's eldest daughter and senior adviser.

Trump has previously indicated a fondness for Apple's Cook, and in March made headlines when he referred to him as "Tim Apple."

Cook visited the White House earlier this month, though Apple and the White House have declined to share details about what the president discussed with the tech executive.

The tech industry has been railing against tariffs on Chinese imports for the past year, with top tech trade groups arguing that the tariffs essentially amount to taxes on U.S. companies, and raising concerns that prices could spike for buyers.