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WASHINGTON -- President Trump said on Friday his administration will not give Apple Inc. waivers from tariffs for Mac Pro-computer parts made in China, saying the only way the tech giant can avoid trade penalties is to make them in the U.S.
Earlier this year, Apple shifted Mac Pro production to China -- its only major device that was being assembled in the U.S. -- as trade tensions escalated between the Trump administration and Beijing, The Wall Street Journal reported last month. This week, the company filed a series of requests with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, asking that the government exempt specific products from a proposed 25% tariff on goods imported from China.
While those tariffs have not yet been implemented, they would include electronics, which could severely impact Apple's bottom line.
"Apple will not be given Tariff wavers, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China. Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!" the president wrote on Twitter on Friday.
An Apple representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Asked if Mr. Trump was denying Apple's request for a waiver, Mr. Trump's economic adviser Lawrence Kudlow told reporters, "He said what he said. That's the president speaking. He is the decision-maker."
"There's some talk that they would be moving some of their production facilities to Texas," Mr. Kudlow added, referring to Apple. "If they do that, that'd be a very good thing."
Mr. Trump repeatedly has called on Apple to make some iPhones, Macs or iPads in the U.S. since the 2016 presidential campaign. He told The Wall Street Journal in 2017 that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook promised to build "three big plants, beautiful plants" in the U.S., a claim on which Apple declined to comment at the time.
Last year, as his administration imposed tariffs on imports from China, Mr. Trump said the only way to ensure prices for Apple goods don't increase would be to make the products in the U.S.
The tech giant tapped Taiwanese contractor Quanta Computer Inc. to manufacture the $6,000 desktop computer and is ramping up production at a factory near Shanghai, people familiar with Apple's plans said in June. Apple can save on shipping costs for components given the proximity of many of its suppliers to Shanghai, rather than having to supply a factory in the U.S.
Also on Friday, Mr. Trump tweeted his concern about Google Inc.'s work with China, saying that it "may or my not" pose a national security concern. He didn't offer details.
In March, Mr. Trump accused Google of "helping China and their military." His comments followed testimony by Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Google, by trying to increase its business in China, was working indirectly or even directly counter to U.S. interests.
Google has denied the accusation.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that he and Mr. Trump had found no national security concerns about Google's work in China.
"The president and I did diligence on this issue, we're not aware of any areas where Google is working with the Chinese government in any way that raises concerns," Mr. Mnuchin said. He described the work Google is doing in China as "very, very limited."
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 26, 2019 12:13 ET (16:13 GMT)
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