Apple faces Trump's ire after company says tariffs would hurt products

Mae Love
September 10, 2018

In a public letter to the government, Apple highlighted how the latest $200 billion worth of tariffs would "ultimately show up as a tax on USA consumers, [and] they will increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives".

"It was just yesterday that President Trump tweeted, "'Ford has abruptly killed a plan to sell a Chinese-made small vehicle in the U.S. because of the prospect of higher U.S. Tariffs.' CNBC.

The trade surplus hit $31.05 billion in August and it continues to add fuel to the already heating up trade rhetoric between the United States and China.

The statement came after Trump tweeted about an article from August 31, when Ford announced that it was canceling plans to make the Focus Active, a compact crossover, in China and ship them to the United States.

"[Ford can make Focuses] in many other plants around the world, so if they made a decision to continue to sell a Focus variant in the U.S. market, there are several options other than building it in the United States".

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"The conclusion was for the iPhone (not now impacted by Tariffs) moving production (100% of final assembly) to the US would need 20% price increases to offset the incremental labor costs", analyst Wamsi Mohan wrote.

Then, after Trump started threatening his new tariffs against China, Ford decided in August that it wouldn't sell the Focus Active in the US after all.

The company said the tariffs would "show up as a tax on USA consumers" and "increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives".

However, a Ford spokesman Mike Levine indicated that there isn't a good a business case to build the low-margin, niche model in the U.S.

The administration in July implemented a 27.5 percent tariff on cars imported from China, which the Asian nation countered with a 40 percent levy on USA automobile imports. Trump said Friday he is considering another $267 billion of tariffs on China, which analysts said will affect virtually every category of consumer goods, to retaliate against what he calls unfair trade practices. "Ford is proud to employ more USA hourly workers and build more vehicles in the US than any other automaker".

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