US president Donald Trump says he has talked about tariffs on Chinese imports with Apple CEO Tim Cook, who made it clear they affect the iPhone maker more than its South Korean rival, Samsung.
Trump said Cook “made a very compelling argument” over the impact of tariffs on Apple in the context of its competition with Samsung, which doesn’t face the same higher costs because its products are made in South Korea.
“I have a lot of respect for Tim Cook. And Tim was talking to me about tariffs,” Trump told reporters on Sunday.
“And you know one of the things that he made a good case is that Samsung is their number one competitor and Samsung is not paying tariffs because they are based in South Korea. And it’s tough for Apple to pay tariffs because they’re competing with a very good company that’s not,” he said.
Trump announced the new tariffs in August after failing to reach an acceptable trade deal with China.
The upcoming tariffs apply to cell phones, laptop computers, video-game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing, according to USTR.
The original timing of the new import duties had caused concerns over their impact on the Christmas shopping season. Apple is also set to release three new iPhone 11 models in the third quarter of the year.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported on the weekend that Huawei’s temporary license to buy US technology would be extended for a further 90 days.
The current waiver was set to lapse today. Huawei’s addition to the Department of Commerce’s Entity List bans the company from buying US goods without the special license.