President Donald Trump concedes that some Apple Inc. products may become more expensive if his administration imposes "massive" additional tariffs on Chinese-made goods, but he says the tech company can fix the problem by moving production to the U.S. Additional U.S. tariffs are certain to trigger Chinese retaliation, though China's smaller volume of American imports means that it can't match Trump's tariffs on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
And then he went further, saying he's also ready to hit another 267 billion worth of imports right after.
On Friday, Trump he was ready to step up pressure by raising tariffs on yet another $267 billion list of Chinese imports. "That totally changes the equation".
The president's tough line contrasted with remarks earlier from White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who left open the possibility of a negotiated solution to the trade dispute, but said China must show it's open to compromise.
Shares of Apple closed down 0.8 percent in regular Nasdaq trade on Friday, and slipped another 1 percent in extended trading.
Despite several rounds of talks between US and Chinese officials, the two countries have made little progress toward resolving their differences. President Trump also expects to meet with leaders in Europe next week to discuss cross-Atlantic trade tensions. The company is concerned, however, about the Trump administration's proposal to add 25 per cent duties on another $US200 billion in Chinese goods, including a wider assortment of consumer-related items.
Thursday was the deadline to submit public comments about the proposed tariffs.
Apple laid out the impact on its products of the Trump administration's proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in an unsigned letter it submitted on Wednesday to US officials as part of a public comment period. "Start building new plants now", Trump wrote.
China has retaliated against those already in effect with tariffs of its own against United States imports targeting, among other things, agricultural produce and seafood. Last year, the USA imported $505 billion in goods from China. Apple said "it is hard to see" how tariffs would advance the government's goal.
"It's never too late to make good trade policy", Kudlow said.
So far this year, US imports from China are running roughly 8 percent higher than during the same period in 2017. Among the equipment hit were a number of components and devices used by United States tech firms, including chips and networking gear produced in Chinese factories. The strong performance of markets over the past few months "keeps getting disrupted by news on trade" and "it's just another indication we're not out of the woods yet", she said.
The company noted it spent US$50 billion with 9,000 USA suppliers in its most recent fiscal year, including Texas-based chip firm Finisar Corp and Kentucky-based Corning Inc.