President Donald Trump met with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the White House on Wednesday, as the tech company stands to be affected by deteriorating relations between the U.S. and China.
Continue Reading Below
The contents of the meeting were not publicly disclosed and it was closed to the press, but the president said on Twitter Wednesday that trade would be among the topics of discussion.
Sources told FOX Business on Wednesday that the meeting had been planned for about a week and was scheduled, on trade, at the request of Cook's team. The tech CEO was in D.C. on Tuesday for the state dinner, where he brought Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson. Jackson also served as EPA administrator during President Barack Obama's first term.
Apple did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment.
The meeting comes as tensions with China remain high amid a tit-for-tat conflict over tariffs and trade policy. Apple manufactures many of its products in China, which is also a big market for the iPhone maker. Sales in the country, however, have slowed throughout the company’s most recent fiscal years, which has caused some long-term revenue concerns among investors.
Last month, Trump slapped $50 billion worth of tariffs on 1,300 Chinese products, reflecting the high technology items in the U.S. that have been targeted by China as part of its “Made in China 2025” campaign. China retaliated with tariffs of equal value on more than 100 U.S. products, including some agricultural goods. Trump has threatened $100 billion more in tariffs, though no further action has been taken.
Cook has been critical of some of the administration’s policies, including the tariffs.
When asked about the topic at a forum in China last month, Cook said “countries that embrace openness, that embrace trade, that embrace diversity are the countries that do exceptionally,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
The administration has tried to downplay fears of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is headed to Beijing to negotiate on trade in a few days, the White House said on Tuesday.
Trade hasn’t been the only point of contention the Apple CEO has had with the Trump administration. Cook also came out against what some viewed as a muted reaction to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August, and against some of the administration’s immigration policies – specifically its position on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Throughout recent months, Trump has lauded Cook for investing more than $350 billion back into the country after the administration implemented the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which, among other things, lowered the corporate tax rate to 21% from the previous rate of 35%.