Trump to Apple: 'Make your products' in the United States to avoid tariffs

A man walks past a screen at the Indonesia Stock Exchange building in Jakarta Indonesia

He wrote: "Start building new plants now. Exciting!" Trump said Saturday in a tweet aimed at the Cupertino, California-based company.

Trump said Friday that the timing of the tariffs on the $200bn worth of goods is not yet final.

Such a move would subject virtually all US imports from China to new duties.

"Our concern with these tariffs is that the USA will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower United States growth and competitiveness and higher prices for U.S. consumers", the company said.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow just hours before said talks with Beijing were continuing to try to defuse the conflict, and that he was hopeful that a solution could be found.

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.

Apple, in pushing back on the tariff proposal, said it bought more than $50 billion worth of components from US-based suppliers a year ago and that it's the largest USA corporate tax payer.

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If the US President goes through with his threat, it would substantially escalate his trade war with Beijing, especially since China has itself said it could retaliate, including taking action on US companies operating in its territory.

They will "take place very soon, depending on what happens", he said about the new tariffs, in comments made to reporters while aboard Air Force One en route to Fargo, North Dakota.

In a tweet, Trump said there's an "easy solution" to Apple's potential woes that also came with a tax break: "Make your products in the United States instead of China".

Many Apple accessories, such as mice, keyboards, chargers and even leather covers for iPhones and iPads would face tariffs, Apple said.

Trump has already imposed 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, mostly industrial machinery and intermediate electronics parts, including semiconductors.

Cook has, so it seems, changed his mind, and Trump threatened to impose another set of tariffs on top of a proposed $200 billion. The company said on its website that it spent over $50 billion for goods purchased from USA suppliers previous year.

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