Apple CEO Tim Cook met with U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday night, and Trump told reporters that he raised his concerns about competing with Samsung while also being subject to tariffs.
The dinner at the president's Bedminster, New Jersey golf club occurred shortly before a 10% tariff is scheduled to hit some products, including Apple Wattch, AirPods and peripherals and accessories on Sept. 1. The MacBook and MacBook Pro, as well as iPads and iPhones, are scheduled to be hit with 25% tariffs on Dec. 15.
Trump said Cook made a “good case” about the difficulty in competing with Samsung if Apple products are subject to import tariffs. “I thought he made a very compelling argument.”
Additionally, Trump told reporters that "It’s tough for Apple to pay tariffs if it’s competing with a very good company that’s not."
Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., builds most of its products in China and then imports them to the U.S. and other markets. Samsung, however, builds primarily in its home country of South Korea as well as Vietnam and elsewhere in southeast Asia, so its laptops, smartphones and other devices won't be subject to the tariffs in the same way.
Prior to the meeting, Apple touted that it employs 90,000 employees in the U.S. directly and that it works with businesses to support 2.4 million jobs in the U.S.
Apple is likely to announce a new iPhone and Apple Watch later this year, and new laptops are rumored, as well.