Apple has urged the Trump administration not to proceed with tariffs of as much as 25% on a new slate of products imported from China, saying it would reduce the company’s contribution to the US economy.
The proposed tariff list covers all of Apple’s major products, from the iPhone to the Mac computer and AirPods as well as parts and batteries used to repair products in the US, Apple wrote in a letter to US trade representative Robert Lighthizer on 17 June. The list also covers accessories that Apple makes for the devices, such as monitors and keyboards.
The tariffs would also weigh on Apple’s global competitiveness, the Cupertino, California-based company said. The Chinese producers Apple competes with around the world don’t have a significant presence in the US and so wouldn’t be impacted by the proposed tariffs. Other non-US competitors would also be unaffected, so the playing field would tilt against Apple, the company said.
“We urge you not to proceed with these tariffs,” Apple said.
Apple’s comments were filed during the public comment period for proposed tariffs on about US$300-billion in Chinese goods as the US tries to finalise a deal with China that addresses the trade deficit, allegations of intellectual property theft and other trade practices.
Hundreds of US companies and trade groups are appearing at a seven-day public hearing through to 25 June, mostly to oppose the duties as a tax on businesses and consumers. The duties could be imposed after a rebuttal period ends on 2 July.
Apple is one of the largest job creators in the US, it said, responsible for more than two million positions. The company also said it is the biggest US corporate taxpayer. Apple has pledged to make a direct contribution to the US economy of more than $350-billion over five years, and said it’s on track to meet that goal.
The US and China said their presidents will meet in Japan next week to relaunch trade talks after a month-long stalemate. — Reported by Molly Schuetz and Mark Niquette, (c) 2019 Bloomberg LP