President Donald Trump on Saturday warned that the prices of Apple products may climb as a result of a new round of proposed tariffs against China, and called on the technology giant to bolster production at home to avoid the consequences of an escalating trade war.
“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 wrote on Twitter. “Make your products in the United States instead of China. Start building new plants now. Exciting!”
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The president on Friday threatened to impose tariffs on another $267 billion in Chinese goods, and is weighing duties on a separate $200 billion in imports. So far, Trump’s administration has imposed tariffs on about $53 billion in Chinese goods.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump dined with Apple CEO Tim Cook in August at the president’s golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. Last year, Trump said the company had plans to make more of its products in the U.S.
“I think Apple is going to build some very, very big plants,” Trump said during a White House press conference in October 2017.
But Cook never affirmed that expansion, and has repeatedly criticized the president’s trade maneuvers with China.
“I talked about trade and the importance of trade, and how I felt that two countries trading together make the pie larger,” Cook said earlier this year about an April meeting at the White House.
“I felt that tariffs were not the right approach there. I showed [Trump] some analytical kind of things to demonstrate why,” he added.
Apple produces roughly half of its iPhones at an expansive campus in Zhengzhou, China, operated by Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn.
Last month, Apple became the first U.S. company to reach a stock market valuation of $1 trillion.
The president on Saturday also tweeted an endorsement of Minnesota congressional candidate Dave Hughes, writing that the Republican is “strong on Crime, the Border, our 2nd Amendmen, Trade, Military and Vets.”
Trump ridiculed Hughes’ opponent, incumbent Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson, as “Pelosi Liberal Puppet Petterson.”
The president is spending the afternoon at his Virginia golf club, where he arrived just after noon, and has no public events scheduled.