Apple will not be getting any tariff exemptions on the new Mac Pro, according to a tweet from the president.
Whereas the 2013 Mac Pro was made in the USA, the new ‘cheesegrater’ 2019 Mac Pro is going to be manufactured and assembled in China. It was reported that Apple had asked the Trump administration for relief from tariffs on Mac Pro parts, and it seems that the request has been rejected.
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The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Apple has signed a deal with Chinese manufacturer Quanta to assemble the new Mac Pro. Obviously, the Trump administration has not shied away from promoting US manufacturing. The tweet makes this plain: “make them in the USA, no Tariffs!”.
Apple made a big deal about the fact that the 2013 ‘trashcan’ Mac Pro was assembled in the US at the time of the product’s release back in 2013, as it was facing political pressure to encourage more domestic manufacturing of its products. The 2013 Mac Pro was manufactured in a factory in Texas, but it is has been widely reported that Apple faced numerous issues due to the lack of US production infrastructure. In one such case, the launch of the Mac Pro was delayed due to the lack of sourcing of a single screw component.
Apple will not be given Tariff wavers, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China. Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2019
The situation for Apple is complicated in the present by the current US-China trade war, which means it must pay hefty tariffs on Macs built in China. The Mac Pro starts at $6,000 and many expect high-end configurations to top $50,000. An up to 25% penalty is equivalent to a significant chunk of change in absolute terms.
Now, not only has Apple’s request for the tariffs to be waived seemingly been denied, it has also resulted in a public PR mess now with the president tweeting about the situation. Apple hasn’t announced pricing for anything but the $6000 base model Mac Pro yet, but presumably, the internal pricing matrix will be hiked upwards if the tariff relief is indeed unavailable.
The Mac Pro will go on sale later this year in the fall.