It looks like Apple is gunning for some sweet tariff exemption from the United States for its manufacturing.
After the meeting with Cook, Trump said: "I had a very good meeting with Tim Cook". Trump acknowledged that it was "tough" for Apple to be paying tariffs on its China-made products when Samsung was not subject to them, but made no indication that exemption for Apple was on the cards.
Apple, naturally, complained about the tariffs and made its case when CEO Tim Cook had dinner with President Trump last Friday.
On Aug. 13, Trump postponed the new 10% tariffs on some consumer items (including smartphones and video games) until December 15.
On Aug. 1, Trump announced 10% tariffs will be levied on September 1 on the remaining $300 billion worth of Chinese imports not hit by new USA tariffs.
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The original timing of the new import duties had caused concerns over their impact on the Christmas shopping season.
Cook said Trump's new tariffs will "tilt the playing field" in favor of its global rivals, among which are many Chinese companies. In June, The Wall Street Journal reported Apple planned to shift production of the MacBook Pro laptop to China.
Apple needs to incorporate the cost of tariffs into the cost of goods, while Samsung now won't, putting Apple at a competitive disadvantage.
"We urge the USA government not to impose tariffs on these products", said Cook.
In sending this letter, Apple joined a large number of companies pushing Trump to abandon plans for more tariffs on Chinese goods. Apple would be hit by new tariffs set to come into effect September 1 because its products are largely made in China, while Samsung would avoid such a hit thanks to its manufacturing taking place mostly in Vietnam, India, Indonesia and other countries. I said, "How good a competitor?"