Apple: China Tariffs by Trump Will Hurt Company

The proposed tariffs on imports from China by President Donald Trump cover a range of Apple products, said the tech giant in a letter sent to the U.S. trade representative. The tariffs have now pulled the largest tech company in the U.S. in the crosshairs of the ongoing trade battles.

Trump proposed new tariffs for $200 billion worth of goods from China that would affect the Apple Watch, Apple Pencil and AirPods, said the Cupertino, California based business in its letter. In addition it would affect the Mac Mini, HomePod and several chargers and adapters for different products. Because of this, the consumer will pay more for products from Apple, said the company.

Apple’s big margins, cash flow and profit could allow the company to absorb some of the higher cost. In its most recent quarter, Apple’s sales were $53.3 billion with earnings of $11.5 billion and reported $243 billion cash.

It currently is the world’s most valuable publicly traded company with over a $1 trillion market cap. The company’s annual revenue is higher than $200 billion and it’s taken in more money that analysts on Wall Street expected in 21 of the past 22 quarters.

Apple, in the letter it sent to the USTR, did not give an estimate as to the amount the tariffs would increase costs. The letter however, did say that it was difficult to see how tariffs that will hurt companies in the U.S. as well as U.S. consumers will advance the objectives of the government when it comes to the technology policies of China.

Tim Cook, the CEO at Apple previously had brushed off concerns over the tariffs, saying that he had spoken to Trump about them and remained confident that the tariffs would not reach the iPhone.

The flagship product that drives the majority of profits for Apple was not listed as one of the many products that would fall under the new tariffs.

The period for public comments for the tariffs ended on Thursday, but a spokesperson for the White House said that the USTR was conducting a thorough review of all public submission.

Shares of Apple closed down Friday by close to 1% after increasing by about the same amount early during Friday morning trading. Shares of suppliers of Apple ended mixed with Cirrus Logic down 2.3% and Skyworks down 1.3%, but Qualcomm slightly higher.

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