President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing (photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

President Obama and President Xi Jinping in Beijing (photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

A trade agreement reached between the U.S. and China looks set to reduce Apple’s manufacturing costs by removing import tariffs on components imported into the country.

Apple uses components from a number of countries around the world, notably Korea and Japan, which are imported into China for the assembly of iPhones, iPads and Macs. China currently imposes import tariffs on these components. The new deal would allow companies like Apple, Microsoft and HP to bring components into China free from these charges … 

The WSJ reports that while the agreement between the two countries needs to be ratified by the remaining 76 member countries of the Information Technology Agreement, agreement between the U.S. and China was seen as the key step.

Tuesday’s agreement between China and the U.S. clears a critical hurdle toward expanding the Information Technology Agreement, whose 78 members account for 97% of IT exports […]

If other member economies approve the pact as expected, the new agreement would boost tech companies in the U.S., Japan and Taiwan, among others. The agreement could cover $1 trillion in trade, according to U.S. estimates.

The ultimate aim of the agreement is to cut costs for consumers, allowing the free passage of both parts and finished products between member countries. The hope is that the agreement will be finalized before the end of the year, and that lower prices will start filtering through to consumers at some point in 2015.

While Apple is course positioned at the premium end of the market, it does cut prices on occasion, such as the $100 drop across the range of MacBook Air models seen earlier this year.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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