The 10 percent tariff on approximately $300 billion of Chinese imports is still entering into effect on September 1, but The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced that smartphone and laptop tariffs are delayed until December 15. This could benefit many U.S. companies, among which Apple, as the company prepares to announce its 2019 iPhone line-up on September 10.
It was also rumored that Tim Cook and President Donald Trump would have a meeting over the weekend, and, as that happened, Apple’s CEO might have made POTUS see the iPhone-maker’s point of view.
According to reports, President Donald Trump said Apple CEO Tim Cook “made a very compelling argument” when discussing the U.S.-China trade war and tariff topic. Cook made a point that these are making it difficult for Apple to compete with other major smartphone manufacturers, among which its greatest competitor, Samsung. According to Cook, the trade war and tariffs are benefiting Samsung.
The meeting took place over dinner on Friday night at the President’s golf club in Bedminster.
I had a very good meeting with Tim Cook. I have a lot of respect for Tim Cook, and Tim was talking to me about tariffs. And one of the things, and he made a good case, is that Samsung is their number-one competitor, and Samsung is not paying tariffs because they’re based in South Korea. And it’s tough for Apple to pay tariffs if they’re competing with a very good company that’s not. I said, ‘How good a competitor?’ He said they are a very good competitor. So Samsung is not paying tariffs because they’re based in a different location, mostly South Korea but they’re based in South Korea. And I thought he made a very compelling argument, so I’m thinking about it. — President Donald Trump
While Samsung has a vast supply, purchase and assembly network, they are mostly based outside of China. By contrast, Apple is manufacturing most of its products in China, and the tariffs, even if delayed, are impacting the company, its products, and, indirectly, the customers who will have to pay an extra amount once Apple would stop absorbing the impact.