Apple Macs caught up in President Trump’s aluminum tariff plan

“President Donald Trump says his proposed aluminum and steel tariffs are about putting America first, but they may affect all kinds of products people in the U.S. consume or use daily — from Bud Light to Hershey’s Kisses to Mac computers,” Jennifer Kaplan and Mark Gurman report for Bloomberg.

“Trump said Thursday the U.S. will impose tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum for ‘a long period of time,'” Kaplan and Gurman report. “The details of Trump’s plan aren’t yet clear, and how the tariffs are implemented will determine just how widely they affect American products.”

“Take Apple Inc., which has many of its gadgets assembled in China, including phones with aluminum or steel edges. If the levies only apply to raw materials, the effect on Apple would be minuscule, since the company produces only a small portion of its Macs in the U.S., according to Gene Munster of Loup Ventures,” Kaplan and Gurman report. “If the tariff includes finished goods, Apple’s Mac and iPhone costs could go up by as much as 0.2 percent, assuming the tax is a percentage of the metal components of Macs and iPhones, Munster said. ‘I don’t see much of an increase in costs,’ said Jun Zhang, an analyst at Rosenblatt Securities who follows Apple and other electronics companies.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: 0.2% is $2 per $1,000. A $5,000 entry-level iMac Pro would cost $10 more.

69 Comments

  1. Their math is generous, but it’s not far off. The real problem will be cars, planes, train cars, trucks, housing and commercial framing, precision milled steel parts, and on and on. The problem is that 0.2% is only the material cost but doesn’t cover the extra importation issues that will arise since we can’t get at Chinese steel directly without harming Canada, South Korea, Turkey, France, Brazil, Mexico, and everywhere else we get steel & aluminum from. This is just not a good idea, and if you look back historically was one of the major causes of the Great Depression, when this exact policy was enacted in 1930.

    1. The bigger problem is how other countries react and what tariffs they impose on American goods.

      Trade wars are a fool’s game. They rapidly spin out of control and have unintended consequences.

      1. Yes, this is an extremely bad idea. Protectionism hasn’t worked for us historically post 1890, and these tariffs are also being classified as Section 232 actions which is National Security (which is abjectly absurd and silly). Basically, if you own a steel mill, this is good for you but if you’re and employee at said steel mill or a regular consumer this is very very bad. Not to mention the effect on our allies worldwide.

          1. I don’t have time to look it up right now, so could you please tell us which countries tax U.S. steel imports at 50%? I haven’t heard of any, but perhaps you have.

            The Stable Genius clearly doesn’t understand the difference between a Budget Deficit and a Trade Deficit. Yes, we are paying $800B more in cash to our trading partners than we are receiving in cash, but we are also getting $800B more in goods and services than our trading partners. Those goods and services benefit our local economy.

            I have a huge trade deficit with my local grocery store. I pay them cash all the time and they never pay me any. All they give me is food.

            1. “could you please tell us which countries tax U.S. steel imports at 50%?”

              I haven’t heard of any, but perhaps you have. a horrible question to ask TxUser and it is totally irrelevant to your country’s approach.

              Did you worry about which country Bin Laden was in? No, you went here, there almost everywhere looking for him, disregarding sovereignty, killing and torturing innocent civilians that got caught in your “aim for Bin hit Saddam” guidance system. Same for that weapons of mass destruction program. Did you ever find it? I don’t think so, but keep looking you might find it some year, or decade.

              It is irrelevant that there is no country that taxes your steel imports at 50%, what is important is repeating the message that there is. To this point the blast from the pasts F2014T2016 (I suspect that people have tried telling him that it’s 2018 but maybe he can’t count that high), is to repeat your leader’s twats, uh tweets thus doing his patriotic duty. He’s done it three times right on this thread.

              We know what playbook that comes from:

              “A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.”

              -Joseph Goebels

            2. “I don’t have time to look it up right now, so could you please tell us which countries tax U.S. steel imports at 50%?”

              Well, I have time right now to point out your ridiculous straw man non-argument.

              It was an illustrative generalized example to make a policy point. I guess you are dumber than I originally thought …

            3. GeoB has confirmed that there are no 50% steel tariffs. Why? The countries producing cheap steel don’t need tariffs to protect their home markets from expensive American steel. I doubt there are any 25% tariffs on US steel, either. If there aren’t, then “RECIPROCAL TAXES” is another exaggeration “to make a policy point,” rather than an actual reason for adopting a punitive tariff.

              Everyone understands that there is a real problem with Chinese overcapacity in steel production, which leads them to dump cheap steel on the international market, which in turn depresses prices. However, the Trump Tariff would hit 10 other countries harder than China. it is unclear how imposing high tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, which could seriously harm their entire national economy without much benefit to ours, helps address the Chinese problem.

              It is equally unclear how restoring even 50,000 jobs in the American steel industry, while higher steel costs eliminate 200,000 manufacturing and construction jobs, helps the average citizen. That is even before the inevitable retaliatory tariffs start impacting the American economy, beginning with the agricultural sector.

              As several posters have noted, high tariffs adopted by the US in 1930, together with the foreign reciprocal tariffs, cut American imports and exports by roughly half. That economic shrinkage seriously exacerbated the Great Depression. Trade wars in the early 1930s were a contributing cause of the shooting wars later that decade.

              Decisions on trade policy can have serious consequences, so they should be based on actual data and not on “illustrative general examples.”

            4. To be fair, there may be some developing countries that have very high tariffs to protect their nascent steel industries from cheap Chinese imports. Those countries are hardly a factor for the American steel industry, which is priced out of that market anyway. The countries that produce a surplus of cheap domestic steel don’t need tariffs to protect them from expensive American steel. Talking about reciprocal steel tariffs is a complete red herring.

              The American steel industry dominated the world during Mr. Trump’s childhood because the steel plants in every developed nation outside North America had been bombed during World War II. By 1959, they had recovered and the United States had begun importing more steel than it was exporting. The imbalance has steadily increased for the last 59 years, notwithstanding repeated American protectionist efforts to stop it.

              Perhaps Americans should focus on areas where we can compete—specialist steels that require scientific and technical expertise—instead of clinging to areas where we cannot compete—basic structural steel. It puts one in mind of efforts to subsidize the coal industry when substantially more Americans now work in the natural gas and renewable energy fields, “fuels” which are also cheaper and better for the environment.

              There was a time when conservatives decried government intervention in free markets to subsidize businesses that are failing because they refused to keep up with the times. I guess the definition of “welfare queens” depends on whose electoral votes are being gored.

      2. “How will other countries react?” That sort of pussy, Obama, weak-kneed, kowtowing, apology-tour bullshit is what got us into this mess in the first place.

        1. Long before Obama, Union men those at the bottom, pointed out in the 1960’s and 1970’s that selling out wasn’t an option, and management didn’t care, it’s to late now.

        2. Do you actually understand that this story is about trading with other countries? The reaction of other countries is a critically important factor when you are trying to sell to them or buy from them.

          China in particular is a country that is holding a very strong hand and won’t be pushed about.

          Actions have consequences.

    2. Best estimates are that the U.S. steel industry lost 51,400 jobs between 2000 and 2016. Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that all of those jobs were lost to overseas competition and none to automation or other factors. Let us also assume that the Trump Tariffs will restore or create those 51,400 steel-industry jobs.

      Far more American workers are in industries (manufacturing and construction) that use steel than in those that make it. The last time the U.S. imposed steel tariffs was in 2002. The best estimates are that 200,000 American jobs were lost as a result. Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that the ratio of steel-making jobs to steel-consuming jobs hasn’t changed since then, so the impact of the Trump Tariffs will be no worse.

      That is still a net loss—148,600 additional people out of work.

      That does not include losses due to retaliatory tariffs. America’s biggest export, and the obvious target, is agricultural goods. So the biggest impact of higher tariffs will be in the same farming communities that provide much of Mr. Trump’s support. How is a sharp downturn in agricultural income likely to affect the 2018 midterms, scheduled just after harvest time?

      The premise of the article we are commenting on is that the only impact on Apple will be the higher cost of steel and aluminum. Higher tariff walls are a much, much bigger danger for the company.

      These broad punitive tariffs are allegedly aimed at China, which isn’t even in the top ten countries exporting steel to the US. The leaders are Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Brazil, and Japan. How does punishing our closest Pacific Rim allies motivate them to help us contain North Korea? How is damaging the Mexican economy going to help them to keep their people at home, rather than crossing the border?

      This morning’s tweet notwithstanding, trade wars are never good and they cannot be easily won.

      1. Great comment, factual and on point, and references the George W Bush tariffs which caused problems in the last decade. The results here will be the same or worse, as it has been every time we’ve done this since 1890 as I referenced above. Isolationist policy isn’t something we can do anymore, just US and China can tank the entire worlds economy by ourselves, and if investment starts leaving US manufactures and foundries because of these unintended consequences, it will spiral out of control. 1930 all over agin. I don’t think a certain section of the US population understands that the world is vastly different than it was 45 years ago, and we are much more interconnected than they realize. This is a very, very, very, very, very bad idea.

        Oh and to mr Bot whatever up there? As always, kindly go screw yourself. Also, your orange overlord said “we should just take the guns first and go through due process later” you need to ask yourself how large the explosion in your brain would’ve been if any democrat said the same thing let alone the previous president. You’re a hypocritical, uneducated, brainwashed, troll who doesn’t seem to understand the world around you. Good day, and kindly go screw yourself.

        1. Oh, also? Did you know that the word Maga in Nigerian means “fool or one who’s had the wool pulled over their eyes” …. so, looks like you’ve literally fallen for a Nigerian prince scam and the warning was right there in the logo. Idiot.

  2. Dear America,
    The middle class will now be paying more and more because of this idiocy. The world, which already has a dim view of the current USA, will shake its head at the self-destruction going on. Orange-top doesn’t read so History is like a foreign language to him.
    Hope you can vote him out before the damage is irreversible.
    An outsider who likes America

    1. Wrong.

      My style of deal–making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.

      Most people think small, because most people are afraid of success, afraid of making decisions, afraid of winning.

      Protect the downside and the upside will take care of itself.

      I never get too attached to one deal or one approach…. I always come up with at least a half dozen approaches to making it (a deal) work, because anything can happen, even to the best–laid plans.

      Leverage is having something the other guy wants. Or better yet, needs. Or best of all, simply can’t do without.

      — Donald Trump

      1. Yes, indeed!

        The Don knows EXACTLY what he is doing.

        Something the sideline sniper critics like TXused, Roadkill, Alaninaudible, Emperorrags and others will NEVER understand or appreciate …

        1. Tell us, what is he doing with his protectionist tariff talk, other than directly contradicting the statements his cabinet members have said?

          It’s obvious Trump uses controversy to cover up prior messes. He’s trying to distract attention from all the promises he made last week regarding guns, and the Russian probe which is finding lots of guilty administration officials. And the list goes on. Trump cannot and will not get anything done except market turmoil because the showman has no policy he can stick to for more than one episode of Morning Joe.

          1. Although Trump has the most successful first year in office than any president in history and he is not a politician (remarkable) speaks volumes.

            Stay tuned for the trade outcome. I suspect it will follow the same trajectory…

            1. Ok guy, the fact that you have to pull a quote out of context, deliberately mischaracterize it, then assert that all polling is wrong because you don’t agree with the aggregate numbers, and then cite the one outlier to back up your position? Dude, c’mon.

              You don’t understand how polling works, TxUser, as usual, is correct. I posted the polling averages; which takes into account every poll and throws the outliers both high and low. This increases their margin accuracy by a factor of 1000, reducing the standard deviation to 0.3-0.5%. In the previous general election, on Election Day, the national average had Secretary Clinton with a 2.3-2.8 % lead, she won the popular vote by a little under 2.4%, which is well within that stated adjusted margin of error… that polling was dead on accurate. There were some state polls that had some flawed sampling, but they’re not included in the national number; and you’re aware of that.

              You obviously don’t understand statistical analysis enough to be making the comments that you do. Make friends with a statistician and have them explain the math to you and how much pain is taken to be fair. You’re opinons are not facts, please stop attempting to assert that they are; you are trying to argue with people who know more than you and it’s getting embarrassing.

              As for my “disgrace” comment. Have you ever been outside of this country? Especially in the last year? Do you ever speak to anyone outside of your friend group or interact with the 60% of country that you disagree with? That’s the majority, by the way, and quite honestly burying your head in the sand and listening to “alternative facts” by your orange overlord, is very destructive to your mental health. I suggest reading some more books, and learning more about the subject you only seem to have a passing incorrect understanding of because of whatever source you’re listening to.

            2. I don’t fault you for all the disparaging comments about me intellectually and personally. In some ways I deserved pushback but certainly nowhere near the magnitude you laid out.

              My writing style is purposely causal, common sense and kitchen table understanding based — so it is accessible to the widest possible audience — all age/income groups and understood by PHDs to dropouts.

              And I’ve been called a simpleton for it among other things here, won’t name names but I haven’t forgotten. That does not bother me including your “looking down your nose” post critiquing my intellect and persona at every turn. Every time someone tells you to “read more” — Ding! Ding! Ding! — ELITIST in FULL condescending mode. Whatever, dude.

              It is interesting to simply tweak and at times hoodwink the erudite know-it-all elitists here and you named número uno. They are so easily led astray particularly by what you don’t say.

              I will make one simple point regarding my reading ability and knowledge of polling. Living in political ground zero for 12 years worked with the very best on a national scale in writing, polling and politics with some pretty big names. I’ve seen how the sausage is made and made some myself.

              Decades long track record here and I know my ability and limitations, you and others mistakenly do not.

              So, the show continues and the crowd (elitists) goes wild … 😜

          2. Tell us, what are Trump’s latest approval numbers?

            Four points higher than Obama at this point in his presidency!

            Oh, I understand your ignorance, CNN overdosing on Russia failed to inform you.

            Gee, what a surprise…

            1. Current polling average by RCP (real clear politics), throwing out the two outliers (Rasmussen (higher) & Quinnipiac (low))

              Trump: 40.71% Job approval 2/16-2/25,
              Job Disapproval: 55.5%
              Favorable: 39.6%
              Unfavorable: 56.0%

              This point in Obama’s first term:
              2/23 – 3/1 2010:
              Job Approval: 51%
              Job Disapproval: 43%
              No opinon/neutral: 6%
              Favorable: 56%
              Unfavorable: 38%
              (From Gallup, RCP didn’t exist then, these also have the outliers thrown out)

              But, facts don’t really matter you trump people do they? No, no they don’t. The man is a disgrace, he in fact, has the LOWEST numbers of any president at this point in their first term in all of polling history.

              Just to define this for you, job approval means what the country thinks of the job the president is doing, while the favorable/unfavorable number measures them as a person. In both cases white men over 45 are the reason for lower Obama ratings, and higher Trump ratings…. I’m sensing a theme….

            2. I won’t get into detail, but you do know polling methodology credibility varies greatly from poll to poll. Polling is the sloppiest science out there with no laws and scant standards to guide them.

              So the last thing I am interested in is a false average poll that combines credible polling with biased polling skewing the numbers.

              I won’t name them (do your own homework) but there are three highly credible polls that are tried and true showing Trump approval numbers higher than Obama for months and most interesting showed Trump ahead just before Election Day in 2016.

              Surprise! The liberal mainstream media did not report that days before the election because they were too busy reporting selective polling that fit their narrative and wishful results for Clinton to win.

              Exactly what you are attempting to do here, cherry pick results that fit your meme, whatever …

            3. Furthermore:

              “The man is a disgrace”

              Only to Libtards and other Democrats.

              “he in fact, has the LOWEST numbers of any president at this point in their first term in all of polling history.”

              Now that I just enjoyed a good belly laugh you are dead wrong. That is the Democratic talking point for 2018, I get that.

              But it is totally false just like polls months before the 2016 presidential election showing a Clinton victory anywhere from 10%-80%.

              And now you are relying on the same unreliable polls and WORSE — AVERAGES that stack the deck?

              Polling today for the majority part is a NATIONAL DISGRACE compared to the rest of history long before liberals took control of the media. To compare today’s polls that have multiplied greatly with just a handful of yesteryears polls is JUST WRONG …

            4. I call BS.

              Your favorite poll, the Rasmussen (the only one showing that Trump is popular), also happened to be the most accurate in the days before the 2016 election. It showed Ms. Clinton two points AHEAD nationally, which is exactly what happened. There weren’t any polls showing Mr. Trump ahead nationally… which is good, because he wasn’t.

              He won in the Electoral College because of individual state victories that were not reflected in any reliable poll, because the local survey data in what turned out to be the swing states was terrible. Most of that polling was done by local amateurs, not by the professionals at the national polling organizations. The press reported those results because that is all that was available.

              Given the events since January 20, 2017, it is hard to believe that there has been any major swing of supporters from the plurality that voted for Ms. Clinton to the minority that voted for Mr. Trump. The Administration has done a lot to annoy that plurality and very little to appease them. At best, Mr. Trump’s performance has avoided losses among the base supporters who elected him.

              The recent decrease in paycheck tax deductions may have bought some additional support, but that will evaporate in about a year when people discover how much they really have to pay in 2018 taxes that were not properly withheld. By then, we may well also have witnessed a living lesson on why trade wars and massive deficit spending hurt everybody.

            5. You don’t know my “favorite poll” and not interested in your faulty assumptions — so I call your post — BS.

              Trump WON is all that counts. And I’m sure judging by your posts that burns your ass on a daily basis. Good …

  3. That $10 incremental cost is head in the sand thinking. Do you think China will hesitate to make life more difficult for US companies, like Apple, that sell substantial amounts of their products in China? That market is a lot more important to Apple than it is China.
    Tethering Apple’s fortunes in such a significant way to a country whose government is scrubbing both the letter “N” and mentions of Winnie the Pooh from the internet is folly. Apple should chart a course of less dependence ASAFP.

      1. Yes, Trump is a moron. The circus is spinning out of control. His own staff, the few that are left, have no idea what is going on. Trump just makes up new policy statements based on whatever BS the morning talk shows spun for shock value. The potus declares “Americans are tired of experts”, as an excuse why he is too lazy to employ professionals to study and present scenarios to him for policy consideration. He prefers ignorance and the economic mess it causes everyone but himself. We can only hope he resigns like Nixon.

        Those who are championing Trump, you need to read how eerily similar Trump’s disastrous protectionism is compared to 1930.
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoot–Hawley_Tariff_Act

        1. Well, I am impressed.

          Trump has done more in his first year in office than any other president in history.

          The absolute remarkable part is as a first time politician he has exposed the professional political class as the frauds they have always been with their hands out and the hell with the people. That’s even more impressive.

          You stay focused on the he said she said who is coming and goings on in the White House.

          I’ll stay focused on the economy roaring back, paychecks growing, unemployment record lows and consumer confidence off the charts …

          1. You are easily used, Goeb. Don’t confuse press and propaganda for action. The incompetence from the white house will be a drag on the US for years to come.

            Let’s just get some facts straight, shall we?
            Obama delivered a higher GDP growth rate in his first year than Trump, on the rebound from the Bush debacle. Trump could only deliver 2.3% GDP growth, not the amazing boom you pretend is happening.
            https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/26/politics/trump-economic-growth-gdp/index.html

            The employment gains for trump’s first year are actually slightly below the last year of Obama’s presidency
            http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/05/news/economy/trump-obama-jobs/index.html

            While we all want the president to succeed, it does no good to blindly cheer his erratic behavior. The potus is damaging trade, markets, and employment potential with his reckless untrustworthy behavior. Stop worshipping him and grow an independent brain.

            1. When you consistently quote the 24/7 Trump HATE media for selective irresponsible reporting, I guess I can’t fault you much for your naïveté…

            2. The same could be said of those who sit before their video screens awaiting the next pronouncement from the Ministry of Truth, which will be infallible because it comes directly from Big Brother.

            3. @ Goeb: facts were presented that are unequivocal and prove that Trump isn’t performing on economic matters as well as his predecessor. It is obvious you have no way to disprove the plain truth, so you go on and on about what you think is bias or selective reporting. You lost. You are just too stupid to look up GDP and employment data yourself. You would rather parrot Trump’s bullshit than see reality. Fucking russian troll. No wonder they call you goebbels

            4. No Citizen X sewer mouth, you were using the “goebbels” avatar earlier today to denigrate a post of mine and now you switched to “Cook did it” in a pathetic attempt to hide your despicable tracks.

              I can spot your potty mouth in a heartbeat. You are also the person responsible for about five one star votes on EVERY post I make. Like I care, NOT!

              Nice to know I live rent free in your deranged head and for all the attention and time you WASTE on me means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING jack off. Let that sink in for a moment. Got it? Of course not.

              Oh and BTW, have a nice day … 🖕

      1. “Millions” a day? “Millions” a day?? “Millions” a day???

        Another Citizen Clueless ridiculous comment with another fake instant screen name.

        Regardless, hey BRAINLESS do the math. If let’s say just a million are shot dead a day in America, then by the day after Christmas the entire population of the U.S. would be wiped out!

        Stupid is as stupid does …

  4. Oh the drama. More great news for the free and civilized world. This is a great time to search and develop other markets with stable and/or ethical partners.

    Plus it will help consolidate the rest of the world against the unethical threat to humanity, after all you’d be totally insane to start or keep doing business with this bottom of the barrel nation that can’t even make the top half of the Global Freedom Index and use the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as toilet paper.

    Too bad they have such a small vision, just think how different it would be if they had decided to build a wall around their pathetic country. Everyone would have paid to keep them inside, they would have all the steel and aluminum that they needed.

    Take note world “There simply isn’t enough can sheet aluminum available in the U.S. to satisfy demand,” and no one is forcing anyone to sell aluminum or steel there. Just imagine how much they’d wine and cry if they had a boycott and/or embargo placed upon them.

    Either way it’s MAGA first, Make Assholes Go Away. Not to mention that you’ll be putting the planet first.

  5. Trumpov is an idiot and apparently one running out of cronies to staff the White House. That means the moron in chief is left to his feeble mind and vivid imagination.

    Wall Street likes his nonsense so much the markets continue their fall about 350 ⬇︎ currently on the Dow Index.

  6. The Commerce Department recommended imposing heavy tariffs or quotas on foreign producers of steel and aluminum last month in the interest of national security.

    CNBC: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross tells CNBC that President Donald Trump’s tariffs are “no big deal.” Ross says the tariffs on aluminum and steel will have a “broad” but “trivial” impact on prices.

    1. Are you going to iCal that? Ross may be trying to downplay the Trumpster but the trainwreck is coming off the rails. Trump’s intentional decision to use controversy to distract from last week’s news cycle is immature and harmful. It won’t work and you will feel the damage of any trade war. Trade wars are not “won”. There is no winning in trade wars.

    1. You think Apple is designing a steel MacBook? That would be something. One thing is certain, if domestic metals prices jump, the more US manufacturing will move overseas where the cheapest raw materials and labor are located.

      Obama reinvigorated the US automobile industry by giving them cheap government loans in exchange for higher efficiency car designs.

      Trump has no consistent policy so with one hand he gives reckless corporate tax giveaways, adding to federal debt, while in the other hand proposing taxes on fuel, closing borders, and increasing taxes on raw materials that US manufacturers need. Nobody is doing the math to figure out the possible outcomes, least of all Trump. But that has not stopped the usual trump paid bloggers from hailing this as a strong positive. I would be more circumspect before believing anything this unprepared administration says about any subject. It’s plainly obvious Trump doesn’t think through anything before shooting his mouth off.

        1. GoeBels, our beloved russian troll, shows again that partisan irrelevant whattaboutism is his only debate tactic. Trump has been proven foolish at every issue, totally unprepared for anything, and you come to a tech blog to sow your unending political manure. Stop. If you love Trump so much, then quit your job in the Kremlin and join the Trump administration. There are thousands of openings, no experience required. Just remember you have to fellate Trump before the press weekly or you will be out of a job in a few months.

  7. The few pennies in tax reduction will be wiped out by this and the proposed gas tax increase he floated. His economic advisors were caught off guard. Does anyone really believe this is one piece of a well thought out economic policy?

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