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
57 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
57 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
57 months ago
Find a new way to hate the POTUS every day.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BoxerGT2.5 Avatar
57 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
57 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
57 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

top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...