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Trump discusses China tariffs with Apple CEO Tim Cook

Posted August. 20, 2019 07:42,   

Updated August. 20, 2019 07:42


U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday (local time) that he is thinking about Apple CEO Tim Cook’s argument that Samsung is not paying tariffs (unlike Apple).

President Trump spoke with reporters before going back to the White House from his vacation in New Jersey. “I had a very good meeting with Tim Cook. I have a lot of respect for Tim Cook,” said Trump while talking about his conversation with the Apple Chief Executive.

President Trump said Cook “made a good case” that Samsung is their “number-one competitor, and Samsung is not paying tariffs because they’re based in South Korea.” Trump continued that it is tough for Apple to pay tariffs if it is competing with a “very good company” that is not.

Cook had a dinner with President Trump on Friday while he was on vacation. It appears Cook argued that Apple could lose its edge to Samsung since it is subject to U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports while the South Korean tech company is not. Apple has been known to be one of the major victims of the U.S.-China trade war since most of its products are assembled in China.

Their meeting came three days after President Trump announced on last Tuesday that the U.S. would delay imposing a fresh 10% tariff on Chinese products, including cell phones and laptops, until December. The delay has been a temporary relief for Apple. But some of its products, such as AirPods and the Apple Watch, will face the tariff in September, while iPhones and MacBooks will also be subject to the tariff starting from December 15.

lightee@donga.com · noel@donga.com