The company told trade officials in a letter on Friday that the proposed tariffs would affect prices for a “wide range” of Apple products, including its Watch, but it did not mention the iPhone, Reuters reported.
Speaking on Friday aboard Air Force One, Trump said the administration had tariffs planned for an additional $267 billion worth of Chinese goods.
Trump tweeted that “Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China – but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive. Make your products in the United States instead of China. Start building new plants now.”
Apple declined to comment.
The technology sector is among the biggest potential losers as tariffs would make imported computer parts more expensive. Apple’s AirPods headphones, some of its Beats headphones and its new HomePod smart speaker would also face levies.
“The burden of the proposed tariffs will fall much more heavily on the United States than on China,” Apple had said in its letter.
In its letter to the Office of the US Trade Representative, Apple had said that “because all tariffs ultimately show up as a tax on US consumers, they will increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives,” AP reported.
The company said tariffs would hit “a wide range of Apple products,” including computers, watches, adapters, chargers and tools used in its US manufacturing, repair and data centers. Apple said the tariffs would raise the cost of its US operations and put it at a disadvantage to foreign rivals.
The White House has accused China of stealing US intellectual property and forcing American companies to share their technology with Chinese companies. The tariffs would pressure China to stop that behavior, the administration has said. Apple said, “It is difficult to see” how tariffs would advance the government’s goal.
The presidential tweet is the latest salvo in a dispute between the Trump administration and companies that fear tariffs will hurt their business.