Washington: US President Donald Trump rejected Apple Inc.’s bid to avoid tariffs on computer parts it manufactures in China, saying the company should instead make the components in the United States.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has asked the Trump administration to exclude key components that make up the forthcoming Mac Pro high-end desktop computer from 25 per cent import tariffs, weeks after planning to relocate production of the line to China from Texas.
Apple shares dipped briefly following the tweet and mostly recovered. They were up less than 1 per cent at 10.16am in New York. Spokesmen for the company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump has previously promised relief if companies can show that parts or products can only be obtained in China, aren’t “strategically important” to Chinese industrial programs or that the duties would cause “severe economic harm.” Trump has tweeted that companies won’t face a tariff if they make their goods “at home in the USA.”
Trump has encouraged Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook to move operations from China to the US, Larry Kudlow, Trump’s chief economic adviser, told reporters on Friday at the White House.
The new Mac Pro will be manufactured in China, a person familiar with the company’s plans said last month, shifting production of what had been Apple’s only major device assembled in the US The previous design had been built in Texas since 2013. The new model was announced in June and will go on sale later this year, starting at $5,999 (Dh22,031). Apple said last month that “final assembly is only one part of the manufacturing process.”
Apple is also seeking duty exclusions on its Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, complementary devices for operating the computer, as well as an accompanying USB cable for charging external mobile devices.
Trump slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods last year, launching a trade war over long-standing US allegations of unfair economic practices, including the theft of American intellectual property.