U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he was considering whether to exempt Apple, which sells Chinese-made products including iPhone, from tariffs on imports from China, citing Samsung, a competitor to the U.S. company, as one of the reasons.
After touring Apple’s plant in Austin, Texas, with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Trump said he “was looking at that” when a reporter asked about the tariff exemption. “Samsung is a great company but it’s a competitor of Apple, the U.S. president said. “We made a great trade deal with South Korea, but we have to treat Apple on a somewhat similar basis as we treat Samsung.”
The Wall Street Journal said Wednesday that U.S. government officials have been discussing weather to grant the iPhone manufacturer tariff relief for months after realizing Apple cannot move from China to the United States overnight, and it does not want to put it at a disadvantage against the Korean company. Trump has a strong relationship with Cook, inviting him to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Having many of its production facilities in Beijing, Apple has been lobbying for tariff exemption since the U.S.-Sino trade war began to escalate. While Apple’s 10 out of 15 requests for tariff exemptions have been approved so far, it has also requested tax relief for the Apple Watch and iPhone components that are produced in China earlier this month.
Yong Park email@example.com