President Trump’s Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, spoke with CNBC today and claimed Apple’s current earnings struggles have nothing to do with ongoing trade tensions in China.
The comments come despite Apple CEO Tim Cook speaking with the same show last week to defend Apple’s rare earnings miss by placing emphasis of the blame on weak iPhone sales in China.
Speaking with CNBC’s Squawk Box team, Ross said:
I don’t think Apple’s earning miss had anything to do with the present trade talks [in China]. Think about it, there have been no tariffs put on Apple products. So that’s not it.
However, Apple holds a different opinion, as Cook said in last weeks letter to investors,
We believe the economic environment in China has been further impacted by rising trade tensions with the United States. As the climate of mounting uncertainty weighed on financial markets, the effects appeared to reach consumers as well, with traffic to our retail stores and our channel partners in China declining as the quarter progressed.
Ross did go on to admit that the tariffs and trade talks have certainly impacted the Chinese economy negatively, but he doesn’t believe a severe correlation between Apple and China exists.
Last week, President Trump exuded a beam of positivity regarding Apple, saying,
Apple was at a number that was incredible and they’re going to be fine. Apple is a great company.
Further, the president then said AAPL has risen “hundreds of percent” since he’s taken office in 2016.
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) January 7, 2019
What do you think about Wilbur Ross’ comments? Do you still believe China is to blame for struggling iPhone sales, or is there more to the story? Let’s discuss in the comments below!
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