Apple is urging the U.S. government to rethink imposing tariffs on China of up to 25% on products imported from that nation.
In a letter released Thursday that the company sent to Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Apple said the proposed tariffs would affect all the major products it sells, including iPhones, Macs, iPads, AirPods and AppleTVs, along with parts and batteries used in repairs.
The letter indicated that such tariffs would not only “weigh on Apple’s global competitiveness” and “tilt the playing field in favor of our global competitors” but warned they would also “result in a reduction of Apple’s U.S. economic contribution.”
The Trump administration and China are embroiled in a protracted trade dispute.
Apple did not spell out what the tariffs would mean for the prices of its consumer products. But it hinted at a possible effect on jobs.
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In the letter, Apple noted that it is responsible for 2 million jobs across all 50 states, a sum that includes the company’s direct employees, employees at its manufacturing and retail partners, along with “Americans who make their living in the vibrant and growing app economy.”
Apple added that it is the largest U.S. corporate taxpayer and reminded Lighthizer that following the passage of tax reform in the U.S. last year, Apple announced its intention to make a total direct contribution to the U.S. economy of more than $350 billion over five years. That promised contribution is still on track, Apple said, as well as company plans to open several new sites, which will add more jobs to its U.S. employee ranks.
Left unsaid was whether those plans would change if the tariffs are implemented.
Apple is already preparing for a fundamental restructuring of its supply chain, according to a report in the Nikkei Asian Review, and “has asked its major suppliers to evaluate the cost implications of shifting 15% to 30% of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia.”
There’s no word on if or how the U.S. government responded to Apple’s letter. Apple had no additional comment.
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