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Apple CEO Makes A 'good Case' About China Tariffs

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U.S. President Donald Trump said he discussed with Apple Inc.'s CEO Tim Cook about the impact of the U.S. tariffs on goods imported from China as well as the competition for Apple from South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co.

Cook reportedly warned Trump that the tariffs on Chinese imports would hurt Apple's business as the tech giant relies heavily on manufacturing in China.

According to Trump, Cook "made a good case" that the tariffs would hurt the iPhone maker, while Samsung would not be subject to those tariffs as much of the company's production is based in South Korea.

"I thought he made a very compelling argument, so I'm thinking about it," Trump told reporters.

The U.S. and South Korea had signed a trade deal last September, which exempts Samsung from worries about tariffs. In stark contrast, Trump announced plans earlier this month to impose 10 percent tariff on additional $300 billion worth of Chinese imports into the U.S.

However, worries about the U.S.-China trade war have eased recently after the Trump administration decided to delay imposing tariffs on certain Chinese products from September 1 and also removed some products from the tariff list entirely, based on health, safety, national security and other factors.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that a 10 percent tariff set to take effect on September 1 would be delayed until December 15 for certain products. The products benefiting from this delay include cell phones, laptop computers and computer monitors. However, the tariffs on desktops would take effect in September.

Thus, some of Apple's products such as Apple Watch, HomePod and AirPods would be subject to the tariffs from September 1, while MacBook laptops and iPhones would be imposed tariffs from December 15.

Amid escalating trade tensions, in July, Trump had said he would not grant a waiver or relief on tariffs assessed to Apple on parts made in China for its Mac Pro computers. He had suggested that Apple should make the parts in the U.S. to avoid tariffs.

In June, the Nikkei Asian Review had reported Apple asked its major suppliers to evaluate the cost implications of moving 15 percent to 30 percent of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia as the tech giant prepares for a fundamental restructuring of its supply chain.

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