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Apple Says U.S. Tariffs on China Would Backfire

by AFP

Josh Edelson—AFP

Tech giant says proposed duties will hurt its competitiveness and aid non-American rivals

Apple is warning the U.S. administration that proposed tariffs on Chinese imports would be counterproductive, saying they would hurt the iPhone maker’s competitiveness and “tilt the playing field” to non-American rivals.

In comments filed this week to the U.S. Trade Representative, Apple said the tariff proposal by President Donald Trump would hurt Apple’s ability to compete and also end up reducing the tech giant’s contributions to the U.S. economy in taxes and investments.

The Apple comments dated June 17 noted that the company is the largest U.S. corporate taxpayer and also is on track to invest some $350 billion in the country over five years. “U.S. tariffs on Apple’s products would result in a reduction of Apple’s U.S. economic contribution,” the company said.

Additionally, the company said the plan would “weigh on Apple’s global competitiveness” and effectively boost its Chinese rivals. “The Chinese producers we compete with in global markets do not have a significant presence in the U.S. market, and so would not be impacted by U.S. tariffs,” the letter said. “Neither would our other major non-U.S. competitors. A U.S. tariff would, therefore, tilt the playing field in favor of our global competitors.”

The U.S. already has 25 percent duties on more than $250 billion of imports from China.

Global markets are concerned about Trump’s threat to impose more steep tariffs on China, on an additional $300 billion in goods.

Apple, which according to some reports is considering moving some production of iPhones and other goods from China to India or other countries, said the proposed tariff list “covers all of Apple’s major products,” including iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods and AppleTV.

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