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U.S. President Donald Trump, touring an Apple Inc. assembly plant in Texas, said he’s “looking at” exempting the iPhone maker from tariffs on goods imported from China.
Trump made the remarks Wednesday alongside Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook at a Flex Inc. facility in Austin, Texas, that is manufacturing Apple’s new Mac Pro desktop computer. Trump repeated previous comments he’s made that it isn’t fair for Apple to be taxed on iPhones built in China given that South Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co. doesn’t have to pay the China import duties.
“The problem we have is you have Samsung -- it’s a great company but it’s a competitor of Apple and it’s not fair if -- because we have a trade deal with Korea, we made a great trade deal with South Korea, but we have to treat Apple on a somewhat similar basis as we treat Samsung.”
While Apple was spared on tariffs for the most of the components that go into the U.S.-assembled Mac Pro, the Cupertino, California-based technology giant had five other requests for duty exclusions denied. Apple has 11 requests pending with the Trump administration for tariff relief on the Apple Watch, iMac, parts for the iPhone and other components imported from China.
The company is scheduled to have its iPhone, iPad, laptops, and some other products hit with import duties beginning Dec. 15.
--With assistance from Mark Niquette.
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