By Tim Nerozzi
President Trump offered a patriotic solution to Apple’s complaint that his proposed new tariffs against China would raise the cost of iPhones and other popular products in manufactures there.
Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China – but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive. Make your products in the United States instead of China. Start building new plants now. Exciting! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 8, 2018
What It Means:
Trump was responding to an open letter from Apple published on Sept. 7 that criticized and critiqued the roughly $200 billion in new tariffs on Chinese goods and imports the president is proposing to punish China for unfair trade practices.
Apple’s letter warned the tariffs would negatively affect American businesses, claiming that “the burden of the proposed tariffs will fall much more heavily on the United States than on China.”
It also stated: “Tariffs increase the cost of our U.S. operations, divert our resources, and disadvantage Apple compared to foreign competitors,” said Apple. “More broadly, tariffs will lead to higher U.S. consumer prices, lower overall U.S. economic growth, and other unintended economic consequences.”
But, a note from Apple a day won’t keep tariffs away. Trump is committed to the policy.
Why It Matters:
Apple is only the latest in a series of companies that Trump has slammed for foreign manufacturing and opposition to the White House’s slate of new tariffs aimed not just at China but a wide range of allies, including Canada and many western Europe nations.
In June Trump blasted Harley Davidson for announcing plans to open factories in Europe to manufacture products for the European markets. The iconic motorcycle brand cited retaliatory tariffs as the main reason for the move.
“I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U., which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse – be patient!” Trump Tweeted after the announcement.
Other trade groups have urged the White House to reconsider their policies, including the United States Chamber of Commerce. However, Trump seems set on following through with the “Make America Great Again” agenda he promised voters in 2016.
What People Are Saying:
Apple CEO Tim Cook may oppose the new tariffs but he has also been outspoken in his support for American jobs and manufacturing in the United States – raising the possibility that Trump’s pressure might produce results for American workers.
“We know that Apple could only have been created in the United States. We know that. This company would not have flourished in any other country in the world,” Cook said in an interview with MSNBC earlier this year. “We love this country. We are patriots. This is our country and we want to create as many jobs as we can in the U.S. We don’t need any political pressure for that.”
“There are components of iPhone built in the United States. The glass is from Kentucky, their mini chips – silicon chips – that are all made from all over the United States,” Cook said. “There’s equipment that goes into manufacturing that’s all over the U.S. The very sophisticated face I.D. module on the iPhone X will be made in the United States.”
Others defended the Presidents policy. Jin Lan McCann, a Chinese immigrant to the United States who has written about her native country’s history and culture, wrote :
In the long run, trade only benefits both parties when both countries have the same fair and effective laws. Otherwise, trading with a slave country is essentially the same as treating our own workers as slaves.
— Powered By Wellesley (@Splendid_M_Dew) September 9, 2018