Tim Cook has previously shared his perspective on tariffs, saying they “end up showing themselves as an added tax on consumers.” Until now it was looking like just the original Apple Watch would be included. However, the latest tariff proposal in the trade war between the US and China could affect more Apple products than previously thought.
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Back in April, it was looking like most consumer technology products would be exempt from US tariffs on Chinese goods. While Tim Cook said in the company’s Q3 earnings call “we are hoping that calm heads prevail” the Apple Watch was the only product expected to be hit by the tariffs that will go into effect this fall. Interesting enough, it was looking like just the original Apple Watch was going to see a 10% tariff.
However, as reported by Bloomberg, with the latest tariff proposal, more of Apple’s products would be included. These would range from accessories like Apple Pencil and AirPods to Apple Watch, and even the Mac mini. The latest of Trump’s proposals would see a 25% tariff on around $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.
White House spokesperson, Lindsay Walters gave CNBC a comment on the proposed tariffs.
“USTR is conducting a thorough review of public submissions. However, potential scenarios like this only further reinforce the importance of how getting China to play by the rules and fix their unfair practices will be good for the US and global economy,” Walters said.
As for Apple’s stance, Tim Cook previously clarified that he believes changes are needed to trade agreements, but that tariffs aren’t the right way to go.
The trade relationships and agreements that the U.S. has between the U.S. and other major economies are very complex, and it’s clear that several are in need of modernizing, but we think that in the vast majority of situations that tariffs are not the approach to doing that.
Apple submitted a comment during the open public review saying that it believes the U.S. “will be hardest hit” by the proposed tariffs, detailed its products that would be affected, and more.
Here's the first page of Apple's 'Dear Robert Lighthizer' letter pic.twitter.com/HetoDeDw67
— Steve Goldstein (@MKTWgoldstein) September 7, 2018