Trump's Planned Tariffs on Imported Steel and Aluminum Would Likely Apply to Apple Products

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he plans to impose tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum to protect domestic producers. Trump is expected to sign the formal order next week, and he promised that it will remain in effect for a "long period of time."

apple steel
The controversial plan would almost certainly apply to Apple products like iPhones, iPads, and Macs, which contain a significant amount of the metals. The latest 15-inch MacBook Pro contains 740 grams of aluminum, for example, while the iPhone X contains 58 grams of stainless steel for its frame.

The details of Trump's plan aren't fully clear yet, however, according to Bloomberg News. If the tariffs only apply to raw materials, for instance, then Apple would be largely unaffected since the majority of its devices are assembled in Asia and shipped to the United States as finished products.

If the duties do apply to finished products, analyst Gene Munster speculated Apple's costs to make Macs and iPhones could rise as much as 0.2 percent, assuming the tax is a percentage of the steel and aluminum used in the devices.

Apple's domestic manufacturing is limited to the Mac Pro, assembled in Austin, Texas. The high-end computer contains 3,660 grams of aluminum and steel imported from outside of the United States, making it subject to the proposed tariffs. However, the Mac Pro is only produced in limited quantities.

The biggest question is whether the impact on Apple's profit margins would lead the company to raise the prices of Macs and iPhones, but given the company's costs are only estimated see a marginal increase, it would seem unlikely.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

napabar Avatar
49 months ago
For some, I guess it's OK if other countries like China tax the hell out of our steel, yet expect us to import theirs duty free. This kind of one-sided nonsense has to end. The US should match the tariff rate off each country that we do business with. That's the best way to encourage free trade. They get the same deal they give us.

And shame on Apple for using imported steel for the Mac Pro, when they could buy locally. That's going to end,
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Madmic23 Avatar
49 months ago
The details of Trump's plan aren't fully clear yet,
Are the details of any Trump plan ever clear?
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Blackstick Avatar
49 months ago
Find a new way to hate the POTUS every day.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BoxerGT2.5 Avatar
49 months ago
Republicans: Man, Trumps popularity numbers suck, but as long as the economy keeps growing this way he has a shot.

Trump: "Hold my beer, I'm starting a trade war."
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mozumder Avatar
49 months ago
Congratulations Trumpers, you played yourself.

Sorry kids, but if you can't compete with other countries fairly, you don't deserve to stay in business. There's no faking it in economics. If you try to fake it by protecting bad unprofitable industries, you end up like Venezuela.

The goal of economics should always be efficiency. If that means letting a Chinese person do something because they can do the same thing for cheaper, LET THEM. Americans will find something else to do that takes advantage of their skills.

If you think a person in China is your competition, then you have already lost.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chupa Chupa Avatar
49 months ago



The biggest question is whether the impact on Apple's profit margins would lead the company to raise the prices of Macs and iPhones, but given the company's costs are only estimated see a marginal increase, it would seem unlikely.
I'm not a fan of tariffs, this one included. Like others I think (hope) it's just a hardball negotiation ploy. That said, it's not a big question. There isn't enough aluminum or steel in an Apple Watch to increase the raw cost more than a couple bucks. Given Apple's already juicy profit margin here and also competition, no, they are not going to raise prices $5 to offset the increased cost should that happen and Apple chose not to source U.S. materials.

The effect of the tariff will be borne more on companies than consumers. The Fed's 3 or 4 rate hikes will hurt consumers more than this by far.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

1x 1

Apple CEO Tim Cook 'Secretly' Signed $275 Billion Deal With China in 2016

Tuesday December 7, 2021 6:49 am PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook "secretly" signed an agreement worth more than $275 billion with Chinese officials, promising that Apple would help to develop China's economy and technological capabilities, The Information reports. In an extensive paywalled report based on interviews and purported internal Apple documents, The Information revealed that Tim Cook personally forged a five-year agreement...
macbook pro 13 inch banner

Apple Planning Five New Macs for 2022, Including Entry-Level MacBook Pro Refresh

Sunday December 5, 2021 7:55 am PST by
Apple is working on five new Macs for launch in 2022, including a new version of the entry-level MacBook Pro, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said that he expects Apple to launch five new Macs in 2022, including: A high-end iMac with Apple silicon to sit above the 24-inch iMac in the lineup A significant MacBook Air...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors

2022 Apple Watch Lineup Rumored to Include New Apple Watch SE and 'Rugged' Model for Sports

Sunday December 5, 2021 8:22 am PST by
Apple is planning an entire revamp of its Apple Watch lineup for 2022, including an update to the Apple Watch SE and a new Apple Watch with a rugged design aimed at sports athletes, according to respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. Writing in the latest installment of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for 2022, alongside the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple is planning an update to ...
apple parts and service history

iOS 15.2 Adds 'Parts and Service History' Feature to iPhone

Tuesday December 7, 2021 9:12 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 15.2, Apple is adding a new "Parts and Service History" section to the Settings app that will let users see the service history of their iPhones and confirm that components used for repairs are genuine. As outlined in a new support document, iPhone users who have iOS 15.2 or later installed can go to Settings > General > About to access Parts and Service History. The...
IMG 1840

Apple Music Voice Plan Coming in iOS 15.2

Tuesday December 7, 2021 10:25 am PST by
Apple today provided the release candidate version of iOS 15.2 to developers for testing purposes, and in the release notes, Apple says that the new Apple Music Voice Plan is set to launch alongside the update. Introduced in October, the Voice Plan is a new tier for Apple Music that is priced more affordably than a standard Apple Music plan. It's $4.99 instead of $9.99, and is designed...
macbook pro 3

macOS Monterey 12.1 Fixes Major Tap to Click, YouTube HDR, and Charging Bugs

Tuesday December 7, 2021 10:48 am PST by
macOS Monterey 12.1, which is set to be released to the public in the near future, addresses several significant bugs that Mac users have been complaining about for weeks. According to Apple's release notes, it fixes a bug that could cause the trackpad to become unresponsive to taps or clicks. We reported on the Tap to Click bug earlier this month after receiving dozens of complaints from Mac...
2021 MBP SD Card Error Feature

Some SD Cards Not Working Properly With 2021 14 and 16-Inch MacBook Pros

Monday December 6, 2021 2:02 pm PST by
The SD card reader slot on the new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models is not functioning as expected with some SD cards, according to multiple reports on the MacRumors forums. In a long complaint thread, MacRumors readers have detailed the issues that they're having with some SD cards, and there seems to be little consistency between reports and affected SD cards. Some SD cards crash and...
airpods pro blue holiday 3

Deals: AirPods Pro With MagSafe Available for $169.99 and Christmas Delivery on Amazon ($79 Off) [Update: Expired]

Monday December 6, 2021 6:03 am PST by
Amazon today has Apple's AirPods Pro with MagSafe Charging Case for $169.99 and delivery before Christmas Day, down from an original price of $249.00. This is $10 off from the rock bottom $159.99 price tag we tracked on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and still a great deal for anyone shopping this holiday season. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and...
razer chroma fan 1

Razer Launches MagSafe-Compatible Cooling Fan for iPhones

Tuesday December 7, 2021 9:37 am PST by
Razer today announced the launch of the Razer Phone Cooler Chroma, a MagSafe-compatible fan that's designed to attach to the back of an iPhone. While there's a MagSafe version for the iPhone 12 and 13 models, there's also a second version with a clamp design that's meant for Android phones and that would also work with non-MagSafe iPhones. Razer says that the Phone Cooler Chroma has a...