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Apple Says iPhone Should Be Excluded From Trump’s Tariffs

Apple is asking the federal government to leave the iPhone out of President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.

Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer published Thursday (June 20), the company said the tariffs, which have been bumped up to 25%, would affect the iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, Apple TV and accessories for those devices, and would “weigh on Apple’s global competitiveness.”

“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,” Apple said in its comments to Lighthizer. “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.”

Samsung, for instance, produces many of its goods in Korea and would be unaffected by a tariff on electronics produced in China.

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Apple noted that it has created more than 2 million jobs across the U.S. and has also pledged more than $350 billion in economic investment over the next five years. That contribution, the company said, would be scaled back if its core products were affected by tariffs.

Lighthizer is currently considering which products will be on the list of imports that will be taxed.

Apple is reportedly considering moving some of its production out of China. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Apple has asked major suppliers like Foxconn to evaluate moving 15-30% of production to other parts of Southeast Asia. Tariffs are a big reason why, but the company is also wary of centralizing so much of its production in one country. It’s unlikely that iPhone production will move to the U.S., though.