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Trump threatened to place tariffs on the iPhone and laptops imported from China



Tim Cook Donald TrumpGetty

  • Trump said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that
    he could put a 10% tariff on iPhones and
    Chinese electronic goods.
  • Apple’s
    stock fell in after hours trading following the remarks.

President Donald Trump has threatened to put a 10% tariff on the
iPhone and other consumer electronics, and markets have reacted

Apple stock dropped over 1.5% in after-hours trading.

Trump discussed the additional tariffs in
an interview with the Wall Street Journal
. Here’s the
relevant passage from the WSJ story: 

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump said that
if negotiations don’t work out, he would also put tariffs on the
rest of Chinese imports that are currently not subject to duties.

“If we don’t make a deal, then I’m going to put the $267 billion
additional on,” at a tariff rate of either 10% or 25%, Mr. Trump

[Trump] said the tariffs could also be placed on iPhones and
laptops imported from China. The administration has been worried
about a consumer reaction should such items be subject to levies.

“Maybe.  Maybe.  Depends on what the rate is,” the
president said, referring to mobile phones and laptops. “I mean,
I can make it 10%, and people could stand that very easily.”

Apple, which manufactures most of its products in China, had
previously been
that the Apple Watch, AirPods, and other wireless
gadgets might be affected by a round of tariffs on Chinese goods.
However, when a
final list came out in September
, Apple’s gadgets were
spared. Those tariffs have already gone into effect. 

But if import taxes are imposed on Apple’s crown jewel, the
iPhone, as Trump threatened, the price of the iPhone could
increase or sales could be hurt. Apple CEO Tim Cook has
said that he doesn’t think the iPhone will get a
tariff on it, and he maintains a back channel to key White House
economic staff. 

Cook has said that he disagrees with Trump’s tariffs, and that
they show up as “a tax on the consumer.”

“Our view on tariffs is that they show up as a tax on the
consumer and wind up resulting in lower economic growth and
sometimes can bring about significant risk of unintended
consequences,” Cook said during an earnings call earlier this

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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