By Molly Schuetz and Mark Niquette
Apple Inc. urged the Trump administration not to proceed with tariffs of as much as 25% on a new slate of products imported from China, saying it would reduce the company’s contribution to the U.S. economy.
The proposed tariff list covers all of Apple’s major products, from the iPhone to the Mac computer and AirPods as well as parts and batteries used to repair products in the U.S., Apple wrote in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on June 17. The list also covers accessories that Apple makes for the devices, such as monitors and keyboards.
The tariffs would also weigh on Apple’s global competitiveness, the Cupertino, California-based company said. The Chinese producers Apple competes with around the world don’t have a significant presence in the U.S. and so wouldn’t be impacted by the proposed tariffs. Other non-U.S. competitors would also be unaffected, so the playing field would tilt against Apple, the company said.
“We urge you not to proceed with these tariffs,” Apple said.
Apple’s comments were filed during the public comment period for proposed tariffs on about $300 billion in Chinese goods as the U.S. tries to finalize a deal with China that addresses the trade deficit, allegations of intellectual property theft and other trade practices.
Hundreds of U.S. companies and trade groups are appearing at a seven-day public hearing through June 25, mostly to oppose the duties as a tax on businesses and consumers. The duties could be imposed after a rebuttal period ends July 2.
Apple is one of the largest job creators in the U.S., it said, responsible for more than 2 million positions. The company also said it is the biggest U.S. corporate taxpayer. Apple has pledged to make a direct contribution to the U.S. economy of more than $350 billion over five years, and said it’s on track to meet that goal.
The U.S. and China said their presidents will meet in Japan next week to relaunch trade talks after a monthlong stalemate.