Apple seeks to exempt products including iPhone from proposed tariffs

Apple seeks to exempt products including iPhone from proposed tariffs
© Getty Images

Apple is asking the U.S. government to exclude its products — including the mega-popular iPhone — from President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden 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. 


"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 TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - COVID-19 fears surround Thanksgiving holiday Women set to take key roles in Biden administration New York expands Trump tax fraud investigations to include write-offs: report 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.