Apple Inc. has asked the Trump administration to exclude components that make up the forthcoming Mac Pro high-end desktop computer from import tariffs, weeks after planning to re-locate production of the line to China from Texas.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is seeking relief from duties of 25% on key Mac Pro parts and accessories that go with it, ranging from the stainless steel and aluminum frame, power supplies, internal cables and circuit boards, and its optional wheels, according to filings posted by the Office of U.S. Trade Representative.
U.S. President Donald Trump has promised relief if companies can show that parts or products can only be obtained in China, aren’t “strategically important” to Chinese industrial programs, or that the duties would cause “severe economic harm.” Trump has tweeted that companies won’t face a tariff if they make their goods “at home in the USA.”
The new Mac Pro will be manufactured in China, a person familiar with the company’s plans said last month, shifting production of what had been Apple’s only major device assembled in the U.S. The previous design had been built in Texas since 2013.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple can likely show that many of the Mac Pro’s parts can only be obtained in China and aren’t “strategically important” to Chinese industrial programs along with the fact that product assembly is only a small part of the total cost of a product.
Regardless, on the face of it, given only a cursory glance, it’s a bad PR look in the U.S. for flush-with-cash Apple to be moving production from Texas to China while asking for a “tax break.” That’s how the average schmo on the street is going to see this.