Tim Cook called out Donald Trump’s tariffs on imports from China during Apple’s third fiscal quarter earnings conference call on Tuesday saying they amount to a tax on consumers.
The White House is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, along with a US$50 billion collection of goods from China that aren’t directly impacting Apple. A fourth category worth an additional $200 billion, however, will impact products Apple sells.
When asked about the impact of the tariffs during the conference all, Cook said,
Our view on tariffs is that they show up as a tax on the consumer and wind up resulting in lower economic growth, and sometimes bring about significant risk and unintended consequences.
He added Apple is evaluating the tariff and will share its thoughts with the Trump administration during the open comment period.
“There’s an inescapability of mutuality between the United States and China,” Cook said. “Each country can only prosper if the other does.”
The tariffs Trump imposed have led to higher costs for consumers, as well as some materials shortages for U.S. companies. Mr. Cook implied that’ll happen for tech products, too, as additional tariffs are put in place.
Cook’s comments came during Apple’s third fiscal quarter earnings conference call with investors. The company reported revenue at $53.3 billion, up 17% year over year with 41.3 million iPhones, 11.5 million iPads, and 3.7 million Macs sold.
Despite the likelihood the tariffs will drive up the price for consumer electronics, including those from Apple, Cook was optimistic that might not happen. “We’re hoping calm heads prevail,” he said.