Apple CEO Bags on Trump Tariffs, Calls them a Consumer Tax

Tim Cook angry about Donal Trump import tariffs

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.

Tim Cook angry about Donal Trump import tariffs
Tim Cook isn’t a fan of Donald Trump’s import tariffs

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.

3 thoughts on “Apple CEO Bags on Trump Tariffs, Calls them a Consumer Tax

  • The opposite side of the same coin: Trump/Cook. Outsourcing manufacturing, reducing recyclable plastics and increasing use of imported metals with no thought to consequences. Tim’s “inescapable mutuality” is the effect felt by parents who can’t afford a divorce because of financial ruin. The same parents rarely worry as much about the effect on their children.

    1. A few things wrong with your analogies:

      Apple _has_ to outsource manufacturing. There is no place in the USA that can assemble computers of this volume. Why do you think they’re trying so hard to get Foxconn to start a factory here?

      Recyclable plastics in Apple products are so insignificant as to be hardly worth noting. Look at an iPhone and iPad, there’s a lot of recyclable metal there compared to other phones and tablets. Macs/iPads/iPhones don’t end up in landfills like other computers. Apple takes them apart and recycles as much as they can while disposing of the minor plastic residue. Also, recyclable plastic doesn’t hold up well to daily use. Ever wonder why android phones don’t brag about using recyclable plastics? Because those phones fall apart after a few months.

      No thought to consequences? Dude, Apple _started_ the whole “think about the consequences” movement in tech. They give more consideration to where the raw materials come from than most other companies do about packaging the final product.

      And your final remark couldn’t be more off the mark. There is a massive, complex web of trade between the US and China that benefits both countries enormously, but we need them more than they need us, just look at their One Belt One Road Initiative. This not-at-all thought out tariff war by Trump is causing real problems for the US as a whole while being barely a ripple to China’s bottom line. They’re already shifting purchases from us to other countries, often getting better deals (sales of solar panels, purchasing soybeans, etc.) so those trade probably aren’t ever coming back to the USA.

      A better metaphor would be the husband kicks the wife out of the house then discovers he doesn’t know how to cook, how to shop for food, how to clean/do laundry, doesn’t understand that you have to put the garbage out by the curb for collection, etc. The children, slowly starving, start to complain so the husband locks them up in cages so he doesn’t have to deal with them, all while telling his friends he’s doing great and will never change his mind.

      1. How do you insert paragraphs here? Nothing seems to work and I end up with a solid block of dense unreadable text.

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