The Trump Administration has decided to exclude a category of high-tech products from its latest round of tariffs on Chinese made products. The move comes just days after Apple contacted the U.S. government expressing its concerns about the possible levies, according to Bloomberg.
Update: The Wall Street Journal, once the tariffs were announced, confirmed that Apple’s products were excluded from this round. Also excluded were Bluetooth devices, bicycle helmets, high chairs, and car seats.
This week, the government is expected to announce new tariffs on as much as $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. Those products could ultimately be hit with a 10 percent levy. The product code for items like Apple Watch and similar smartwatches, AirPods, plus for fitness trackers such as those from Fitbit are not on the list. Other Apple products likely spared include the HomePod speaker, BeatsWL headphones, and AirPort and Time Capsule internet routers.
Other Apple products such as the Mac mini, various chargers and adapters, and tooling equipment that the company uses to make and design some products in the U.S., could face tariffs.
In a Sept. 5 to the U.S. Trade representative, Apple said:
Our concern with these tariffs is that the U.S. will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower U.S. growth and competitiveness and higher prices for U.S. consumers.
If Bloomberg’s report is correct, this is good news for Apple. However, the celebration might not last too long. The Trump Administration is also considering another $267 billion in tariffs on China, which could affect all categories of consumer goods, including iPhone and iPad.
The tariffs are part of a growing trade war currently showing no signs of slowing down between the countries that represent Apple’s two largest consumer markets, the U.S. and China. Back in the spring, Apple CEO Tim Cook met with President Trump about his approach to China. At the time, Cook called the trade policies in China “problematic.”