Trump tweeted Saturday that "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, " if the company made its products in the USA instead of China.
President Donald Trump concedes that some Apple Inc. products may become more expensive if his administration imposes "massive" additional tariffs on Chinese-made goods, but he says the tech company can fix the problem by moving production to the U.S. He wrote: "Start building new plants now".
Mr Trump imposed customs duties of up to 25 per cent on US$34 billion worth of Chinese goods in July, and on another US$16 billion in August, triggering swift tit-for-tat responses from Beijing.
In addition, the tariffs will also raise the costs to run Apple's manufacturing and product fix facilities in the USA by placing duties on logic boards, microprocessing units, and other electronic equipment, the company said.
"The proposed tariff list covers a wide range of Apple products", the company said in the document. Apple cited the Apple Watch, AirPods, and the Apple Pencil as potentially impacted products, but devices like the iPhone would likely be affected as well given a China-centric supply chain.
"We hope, instead, that you will reconsider these measures and work to find other, more effective solutions that leave the USA economy and USA consumer stronger and healthier than ever before".
Mr Trump has boasted that trade wars are "easy to win" and warned he would hit virtually all Chinese imports if Beijing does not back down and take steps to reduce its US$335 billion surplus with the US.
Apple CEO Tim Cook didn't sound that concerned about the tariffs during the company's Q3 earnings call.
Intel Corp., the world's second-largest chip maker, weighed in supporting Apple's opposition to the tariffs and broadening the argument.
The country's trade surplus with the U.S.
In August 2018, the surplus was $31,05 billion, up from $28.09 billion in July.
That could help reignite US demands that Beijing narrow its trade gap, which has temporarily been overshadowed by their clash over complaints China steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology. Investors were told that the company was still evaluating the proposed list of goods that would be hit by the tariffs. Apple said "it is hard to see" how tariffs would advance the government's goal.
"Tariffs increase the cost of our USA operations, divert our resources and disadvantage Apple foreign competitors", the company said.
Apple generated $9.6 billion in sales in China in the fiscal third quarter, accounting for 18 percent of its total revenue in the period.