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Trump considers Apple exemption on China tariffs

By Yana Berman

US president tells Apple CEO Tim Cook that Samsung should not enjoy a trade advantage over his company

US president Donald Trump has told that he is considering making an exemption on tariffs for the tech giant. Apple has much of its manufacturing capacity in China.

Trump made the comments while visiting Apple's assembly plant in Austin, Texas, where Apple is producing its new Mac Pro desktop computers.

Trump told Apple CEO Tim Cook that the US should treat his company similarly to its main rival, Samsung. The South Korean company has many factories in China but because of a US-Korea trade deal its products are tariff-exempt.

"We have to treat Apple on a somewhat similar basis as we treat Samsung,” Trump said.

So far US trade regulators have approved 10 out of 15 requests for tariff exemptions filed by Apple. The company is also awaiting a decision on exemption for Apple Watches and iPhones.

In August, Trump urged US manufacturers to "immediately start looking for an alternative to China". They should build more products in the US in order to revive the manufacturing within the country, he said.

Apple has a new campus in Austin currently under construction that will employ 5,000 workers and is expected to launch in 2022.

After the latest twists of the US-China trade war Apple has been evaluating moving 15 to 30 per cent of its production capacity out of China. India and Vietnam are high on the company’s list for smartphone production.

FURTHER READING: Apple Considers Shifting 15-30% of Production Capacity out of China

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