Skip to main content

Trump Says Apple's Cook Made 'Good Case' About Tariffs

Apple CEO Tim Cook
(Image credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

Per Bloomberg

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.

  • King_V
    @bit_user - re: our previous bit of conversation regarding tariffs and Apple . . I'm thinking it's definitely going to be a "whatever his mood is at the moment" decision.

    I would say he's got the decision making process of a drunk - except that he doesn't drink, which makes it scarier.
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    Reading "Apple's Case" here I'm not sure I agree with Trump that it's a good case.

    Apple has chosen to become extremely dependent on the Chinese Communist Dictatorship while it's tough competitor has a better diversified manufacturing base not dependent on an oppressive regime's low cost labor (well they still manufacture in Vietnam but apparently not as much). Lots of Political risk there and it is not a new or sudden development.

    I have to say this is actually the mildest most reasonable Trump comment I can remember. He makes clear he listened respectfully to Cook but promised nothing. Sounds like a boring politician.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    King_V said:
    @bit_user - re: our previous bit of conversation regarding tariffs and Apple . . I'm thinking it's definitely going to be a "whatever his mood is at the moment" decision.
    He didn't (reportedly) do anything except agree with Cook's position. If he intervenes to issue them an exemption, I think Samsung would probably have grounds to sue.

    What I'm more concerned about is that he could widen tariffs to hit Vietnam and possibly even South Korea.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Co BIY said:
    Apple has chosen to become extremely dependent on the Chinese Communist Dictatorship while it's tough competitor has a better diversified manufacturing base not dependent on an oppressive regime's low cost labor (well they still manufacture in Vietnam but apparently not as much).
    Samsung has previously manufactured in North Korea (in a special industrial area setup specifically for South Korean companies to take advantage of cheap North Korean labor). I don't know if that's currently true, or if that economic zone is still closed (from a few years ago).

    So, if you're casting this in moral terms, Samsung is no angel. I'm sure North Korean workers' rights are even worse than Chinese'.

    Co BIY said:
    I have to say this is actually the mildest most reasonable Trump comment I can remember. He makes clear he listened respectfully to Cook but promised nothing. Sounds like a boring politician.
    Yeah, pretty much my take, as well.
    Reply
  • King_V
    bit_user said:
    He didn't (reportedly) do anything except agree with Cook's position. If he intervenes to issue them an exemption, I think Samsung would probably have grounds to sue.

    What I'm more concerned about is that he could widen tariffs to hit Vietnam and possibly even South Korea.

    I question whether he's even aware that those are separate countries, rather than cities in China.

    "Beijing, Vietnam, Dayton, Toledo .. what's the difference?" :rolleyes:
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    A few years ago...

    an Apple executive told the New York Times, “we don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems.”

    I think the reverse is probably just as true.
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    Co BIY said:
    A few years ago...

    an Apple executive told the New York Times, “we don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems.”

    I think the reverse is probably just as true.
    That is pretty funny.
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    Co BIY said:
    A few years ago...

    an Apple executive told the New York Times, “we don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems.”

    I think the reverse is probably just as true.
    Although Apple didn't cause America's problems, however, the US government did cause Apple's problems of late.
    Reply