Apple Watch and AirPods to Be Spared from Next Round of China Tariffs

Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch and AirPods will be spared from the next round of tariffs on Chinese goods, according to Bloomberg. Though originally covered in early drafts of a $200 billion escalation of President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, sources told Bloomberg that the product code covering these two Apple devices—as well as competing devices—will be exempted from tariffs.

Apple Watch Series 4
Apple Watch Series 4 to Be Spared from Tariffs

Apple had warned in an SEC filing that it could be affected by these newest tariffs, which will impose a 10% tax on a wide swath of products made in China. The final list has not been released as of this writing, but is expected as early as Monday. President Trump told reporters it would be released after the close of business on Monday.

Fitbit is one of those competitors also covered by this exemption.

Apple Lobbying

In addition to warning investors that the company could be affected by these tariffs, Apple also wrote the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer asking that the tariffs not be imposed.

“Tariffs increase the cost of our U.S. operations, divert our resources, and disadvantage Apple compared to foreign competitors,” Apple wrote. “More broadly, tariffs will lead to higher U.S. consumer prices, lower overall U.S. economic growth, and other unintended economic consequences.”

While the broader message appears not to have been followed, Apple did manage to get its devices exempted. Bloomberg also noted that Apple CEO Tim Cook dined with President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump in August. Former TV pundit and current White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow also said the White House regularly consults with Mr. Cook on economic matters.

“We’ve spoken to Mr. Tim Cook many times. He’s a really smart guy. He’s given us some good advice,” Mr. Kudlow said.

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