Trump Suggests Tariffs Could Be Placed on iPhones and Laptops Imported From China
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, U.S. President Donald Trump suggested he might implement a 10 percent tariff on iPhones and laptops imported from China.
Trump is set to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping later this week, and he said he is prepared to implement additional tariffs on products that are not currently subjected to tariffs should negotiations not go well.
He 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."
Starting in January, the U.S. is set to increase tariffs on $200 billion in imports from China to 25 percent from 10 percent, which Xi Jinping is hoping to delay with the upcoming meeting. According to Trump, it's "unlikely" he will hold off on implementing the upcoming increase.
Apple devices are currently exempt from tariffs, though there were worries that the Apple Watch and AirPods would be included in the most recently released tariff list. Trump ended up exempting a product category that includes the Apple Watch, AirPods, and other smart watches and fitness products.
Apple has previously sent letters to the Trump administration urging it not to apply tariffs that would affect Apple products, instead urging the government find "other, more effective" solutions. Apple said implementing the tariffs would lead to lower U.S. growth and competitiveness, along with higher prices for U.S. consumers.
Back in July, Apple CEO Tim Cook commented on the tariffs, saying that Apple was "optimistic" the issue would be sorted out, with the company ultimately hoping "calm heads prevail."
Apple's stock has dropped in after hours trading following Trump's remarks.
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