President Donald Trump suggested that Apple could face no taxes if the company moves its manufacturing process to the US from China.
“Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China – but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “Make your products in the United States instead of China. Start building new plants now. Exciting! #MAGA.”
The tweet appears to be in response to a letter sent by Apple to the US Trade Representative on Friday. The company warned that many Apple products could increase in price if Trump implements a proposed round of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
“Second, because all tariffs ultimately show up as a tax on U.S. consumers, they will increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives,” the company said in the letter.
Trump first threatened to impose the round of tariffs in July, and the move would be a drastic escalation of the trade war between the US and China. US companies have warned that the tariffs, which would cover a huge range of industrial and consumer goods, would cause costs to increase. In turn, those companies could be forced to raise prices or lay off workers to control costs.
Trump told reporters on Friday that the tariffs would “take place very soon.”
Trump has long encouraged Apple to being the entirety of its production to the US, though many analysts believe that the cost to do so would be enormous. This is the first time, however, that Trump has suggested a considerable tax break for the company if their manufacturing is brought back onshore.
It is unclear whether Trump was suggesting that Apple would pay no tax at all if it moved manufacturing to the US or simply not pay the additional duties to import goods from China. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.