President Donald Trump and Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down recently to discuss how U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods impact the iPhone giant, putting it at a disadvantage relative to the Korean tech giant Samsung.
That’s according to remarks made by Trump himself on Sunday as he departed Morristown, N.J., not far from where his private golf club is located in the city of Bedminster. The Republican president told reporters that he had a “very good meeting with Tim Cook,” adding that he has “a lot of respect” for the tech exec.
“I thought he made a very compelling argument,’ Trump told reporters at Morristown (N.J.) Municipal Airport before getting on Air Force One. “It’s tough for Apple to pay tariffs if it’s competing with a very good company that’s not,” Trump said.
This comes after Trump last week said he would delay tariffs on Chinese goods for three months on certain tech goods and apparel. In July, Trump said that Apple wouldn’t get exempt from tariffs if the company continues to produce goods in China.
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Now Trump is “thinking about” whether or not he’ll exempt Apple from tariffs, he said over the weekend. On Friday, he seemed optimistic about the proposed meeting, tweeting, “Having dinner tonight with Tim Cook of Apple. They will be spending vast sums of money in the U.S. Great!”
Apple has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Apple’s popular MacBook laptops and iPhones are exempt from levies until December, while many of the companies other offerings like Apple Watches, AirPods and the HomePod would be subject to added tariffs as early as September.
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In June, Apple sent an open letter to the Trump administration saying that tariffs would decrease the tech giant’s contribution to the American economy and “weigh on Apple’s global competitiveness.”
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.