Apple warns U.S. tariffs would result in a reduction of company’s U.S. economic contribution, weigh on global competitiveness

Ashley Carman for The Verge:

Apple says the Trump administration’s tariffs could lower the company’s economic output and put it at a disadvantage compared to its international competitors, particularly its Chinese counterparts. In Apple’s letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the company argues that the proposed tariffs, which would impact nearly every Apple device including the iPhone, MacBook, AirPods, and Apple Watch, would hurt Apple’s US employees and its ability to contribute to the US economy.

In May, the Trump administration announced a massive expansion of those tariffs, levying a 25 percent tariff on nearly every category of goods that had been previously unaffected, including computers, smartphones, and televisions. The Office of the US Trade Representative is currently seeking comment on those tariffs, which is why Apple wrote this letter.

MacDailyNews Take: No pain, no gain.

Apple’s letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer reads, in part:

Thank you for this opportunity to comment on USTR’s proposal to impose tariffs up to twenty-five percent duty on a fourth set of products imported from China.
The proposed tariff list covers all of Apple’s major products, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and Apple TV, as well as the parts and batteries used to repair products in the United States. The proposed tariffs also cover accessories that Apple makes for these devices, such as monitors and keyboards… We urge the U.S. Government not to impose tariffs on these products.

U.S. tariffs on Apple’s products would result in a reduction of Apple’s U.S. economic contribution. U.S. tariffs would also weigh on Apple’s global competitiveness. The Chinese producers we compete with in global markets do not have a significant presence in the U.S. market, and so would not be impacted by U.S. tariffs. Neither would our other major non-U.S. competitors. A U.S. tariff would, therefore, tilt the playing field in favor of our global competitors.

We urge you not to proceed with these tariffs. Thank you for your consideration of our comments.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “TJ” for the heads up.]


  1. No Pain No Gain is Right. Hell, China has already Stolen half of Apples IP. Tariffs are the only way to help stop and or curve Chinese Thieves from Stealing Apples IP and whatever else it is Stealing. PERIOD

    1. The only way to stop IP theft? You do need to explain why taxes on consumers solves anything. Saying “period” is just as stupid and meaningless as Goeb’s copyrighted cop out “nuff said” [sic].

  2. Its clear BrentP does not know how tariffs work. Developed LONG LONG before current international trade, today they mostly make the customer pay to his government instead of punishing the offending government.
    Just like making Mexico pay for the wall, it sounds good but does not work.

  3. Apple is one of the richest companies in the world. Apple should have NEVER put all their eggs in China. Tim Cook is lazy and enjoying the view from the plane that Job’s built.

  4. This and any action on Apple regarding ridiculous monopoly charges will only strengthen foreign competition as they laugh at us for shooting ourselves in the foot. Whose side is the U.S.governrnent on anyway?

  5. Apple will likely end up as the biggest tech company loser with these tariffs. Apple bet the farm on China and lost. Time to start looking elsewhere for revenue and profits. Tim Cook tried to suck up to the China consumers but understandably those fickle consumers will likely support their own country and not the U.S. I simply don’t understand why only Apple is the main focus of being adversely affected by these Chinese tariffs. It seems there would be plenty of other U.S. countries that have a lot to lose.

    Maybe Apple better start focusing on how to sell high-end Mac Pros to the enterprise or something to try and make up for iPhone revenue losses. With all the constant chatter about unlimited-growth cloud computing, Apple should have been designing some powerful cloud servers based on their A-series chip technology. It seems like another opportunity Apple missed out on. What the heck does Apple do with all of its data centers anyway? Will they finally be used when Apple starts its video/music subscription services?

    1. I’ve read what seems dozens of posts from you about Apple should get into the Cloud computing business i.e selling server space to others.

      I don’t think Apple can compete there with competitive pricing as Tim Cook has said he wants 100% green energy for Apple servers. Which means high costs . There are also few areas where Apple servers can be built (you need sunny place or you need hydro electric etc).

      None of the other cloud companies are constrained by that. They can build anywhere in the cheapest area and use Coal or whatever.
      Microsoft’s Green Plan is a ‘target’ for the future of 60% green !
      Apple servers TODAY are 100% green,

      Flamers, I’m not arguing pro or negative about Green energy or pro or negative Tim Cook, I’m just pointing out facts.

  6. Samsung is laughing their heads off.
    They have many factories in China but all they have to do is do the final assembly in Korea and they can export without tariffs to USA

    Meanwhile Apple buys components from USA, Japan Korea (Qualcomm chips, A series chips, OLED Screens, Corning USA glass ) etc and does final assembly in China. Foxconn makes about $5 from every $1000 iPhone. And Foxconn is not even a China company but Taiwanese.

  7. Tariffs only benefit the Orange Monkey’s ego. Other than that, they just harm everybody else in the US. Way to go Drump, keep destroying our economy bit by bit.

    1. Tariffs made America into an economic powerhouse, two generations of traitor dems and repubs sold the farm for cheaply made goods at the expense of millions of middle-class manufacturing jobs and tens of thousands of factories. Short-term economic pain is a small price to pay to force China et al. to make concessions to access the most lucrative market on earth. Trump is infinitely better as a leader than the communist ankle-biters angling to face him. Better orange than red.

      1. Sorry “dear”,
        But this only looks like in short terms. Printing $ bills by tones, and having a narrow-minded conservative view is bound to fail on a long-term. A country, as big as can be, can’t survive based on a monomaniac system.

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