Trump threatens tariffs on iPhones from China

US President Donald Trump said the country may hit goods imported from China with a new round of tariffs, which The Wall Street Journal(WSJ) reported could impact Apple products including iPhones and laptops.

The comments came ahead of a meeting between Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping, in which the two sides will make trade negotations.

Trump said if a deal favourable to the US is not made, he will impose additional tariffs of either 10 per cent or 25 per cent: the only acceptable deal would be that “China has to open up their country to competition from the United States”, he added.

The US president first threatened to do this around the middle of this year.

Plans are already underway to raise tariffs on more than $200 billion-worth of Chinese goods to 25 per cent in 2019, and Trump said it is “highly unlikely” Chinese leaders will be able to convince him to not go ahead.

When asked specifically about imposing tariffs on Apple products, Trump said: “Maybe. Maybe. Depends on what the rate is. I mean, I can make it 10 per cent and people could stand that very easily.”

In September, Trump urged Apple to manufacture its products in the US if it wants to avoid tariffs on Chinese imports.

Apple has said in the past such tariffs would mean “a wide range” of its products including its Watch, would cost more, but there was no mention of the iPhone.