Apple warns China tariffs would hurt its contributions to US economy, boost rivals

Apple urged U.S. trade representatives this week to reconsider further tariffs on Chinese-made goods, warning that an escalation would limit its contributions to the U.S. economy.

In a June 17 letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Apple said that further tariffs would affect production of all its major products, including iPhones and MacBooks, as well as accessories and products it uses to conduct repairs.

“U.S. tariffs on Apple’s products would result in a reduction of Apple’s U.S. economic contribution,” the company said in its letter. “U.S. tariffs would also weigh on Apple’s global competitiveness.”

The Trump administration is set to impose 25 percent tariffs on another $300 million in Chinese goods, escalating the trade conflict with Beijing after negotiations stalled between the two nations. Apple is one of the dozens of U.S. companies to speak out against the tariffs.

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Apple added that Chinese and international tech rivals lack a significant presence in the U.S. market, and thus would not experience the same impact on their businesses.

“A U.S. tariffs would, therefore, tilt the playing field in favor of our global competitors. … We urge you not to proceed with these tariffs,” Apple said.

Apple representatives did not immediately respond to a request for further comment on the situation.


If implemented, the tariffs are expected to result in a significant rise in prices for iPhones, most of which are manufactured in China. Apple is said to be considering shifting up to 30 percent of its iPhone production out of China.