Apple Issues Letter Responding to President Trump’s Proposed Tarrifs

Trump says he’s ready to hit China with $267bn in additional tariffs

Brian Cahn Global Look Press

Both Intel and Apple are urging Trump administration to re-evaluate the proposed tariff list, which is now under review by the U.S. officials.

Analysts do not see any resolution of the trade dispute until after the USA has its mid-term election on Nov 6 and, possibly, until early next year. That represents a small portion of Apple's $229 billion in overall sales.

According to Apple, the tariffs would affect the Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod, Beats headphones, AirPort routers, Apple Pencil, Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard, MacBooks, Mac mini, and a selection of cables, chargers, and adapters.

China will be forced to take necessary countermeasures if the United States insists on imposing new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods despite strong opposition from both countries, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

"It is hard to see how tariffs that hurt USA companies and US consumers will advance the Government's objectives with respect to China's technology policies", Apple said in its letter.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Interestingly though, the iPhone was not mentioned.

"If the USA dogmatically implements any new tariff measures against China, China will have to take the necessary countermeasures", commerce spokesman Gao Feng told reporters.

His comments, which contradicted the more diplomatic remarks earlier Friday from his top economic adviser, sent the stock market plunging amid fears of the economic damage that could result from the multi-front trade war he pursues. The company said that "main logic boards with microprocessing units" could face levies, along with equipment used for research and development. Apple's letter to the U.S. trade office named several company products that risk facing duties; they include the HomePod, the Apple Pencil, company chargers and adapters for Apple devices, and even the leather covers for the iPhones and iPad.

Altogether, the U.S. tariffs could ultimately hit more than United States dollars 500 billion in Chinese goods.

The company said tariffs would hit "a wide range of Apple products, " including computers, watches, adapters, chargers and tools used in its USA manufacturing, fix and data centers.

That said, Apple didn't give an estimate of how much the proposed tariffs would contribute to the increased costs of its products.

The technology sector is among the biggest potential losers as tariffs would make imported computer parts more expensive. Fitness tracker maker Fitbit FIT.N said it would be hit by tariffs, and chipmaker Intel Corp INTC.O said the levies could slow down the adoption of 5G networks, the next generation of wireless data technology for phones and other devices.

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