In Brief

Trump trade tariff threat could hit Apple accessories

Customers risk paying the price of a proposed 10% levy on electronics imported from China

Apple users may soon be paying more for accessories if Donald Trump’s latest trade tariff proposals for imported electrical goods from China are given the green light.  

The tech giant’s iPhones and Mac computers are currently exempt from paying import tariffs, but the US President’s latest proposal to slap a 10% trade levy on Chinese products could force the company to raise prices or cut its profit margins, the Financial Times says. 

Apple’s accessory range, which the FT describes as the company’s “fastest-growing division”, would be potentially affected by the tariffs, putting products such as the HomePod smart speaker and Apple Watch at risk of higher price tags.

Although Apple is based in Cupertino, California, a report by MacWorld last year revealed that many of the company’s devices are either manufactured or assembled in China.

The levies would also apply to accessories produced by other US-based hardware companies that use China as a manufacturing hub. 

While the tariffs only apply to products arriving from China into the US, tech companies could seek to increase prices in all territories as a result of the higher import duties.

China could, however, retaliate with its own tariffs on US imports, says Trusted Reviews. This means Apple could face a “double-whammy” in the form of two major import and export levies. 

Trump’s proposed tariffs may go into effect in the autumn, according to Engadget. They have not been well received by Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook.

He told CNN in June that Trump’s ongoing trade war with China was going to be a “lose-lose” situation. But Cook added that he was “very optimistic” that the conflict would end with neither country imposing higher tariffs on electrical goods. 

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