U.S. President Donald Trump showed off his close relationship with Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday (local time), saying that he will help the CEO with the tariff issue against Samsung. This is his second mention of Samsung Electronics, following the first one on Sunday.
“Cook calls me whenever there is a problem. The problem was that Samsung, a competitor, his competitor, wouldn’t be paying tariffs, and Tim Cook would,” President Trump said to a group of reporters at the White House in Washington D.C. “I gotta help him out short-term because it’s a great American company.” He repeated the Apple CEO’s recent argument that the 10 percent tariff would be unfair to Apple, especially compared with its primary competitor Samsung, which does most of its manufacturing in South Korea.
As the U.S. president also implied on Sunday that potential support measures for Apple against the South Korean company are being explored, it’s becoming more likely that the U.S. government will come up with a set of measures to help Apple gain price competitiveness in near future. Apple produces most of its products in China at the moment. Ten percent tariff will be imposed on the AirPods and Apple Watch from September 1 while the iPhone will be subject to the tariff from December 15. Samsung’s smartphones exported to the U.S. market are mostly produced in Vietnam, India, etc., which exempt the mobile devices from such tariff.
To the question of asking why he is particularly closer to CEO Cook than other business people, President Trump answered, “Others go out and hire very expensive consultants. Tim Cook calls Donald Trump directly. That’s why he’s a great executive.” He also added that the consultants who are hired with “millions of dollars have less power than you (reporters) do.”