Two days before a long-awaited Apple event—during which Apple is expected to introduce new iPhones—President Trump took to Twitter to steal some of the tech giant’s thunder. And the ripples were felt all the way over in Asian stock markets.
Apple is staging an event in the Steve Jobs Theater in its Cupertino headquarters on Tuesday, September 12. Rumors and leaks suggests that Apple will release three new iPhones—two with OLED screens and a lower-cost phone with a LCD display—as well as updates to the Apple Watch and new iPad Pro models. Apple typically goes to painstaking lengths to maximize the impact of its September event announcements.
Trump had other ideas. On Saturday, he posted a tweet suggesting Apple should move its production facilities to the U.S.
“Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China – but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive,” Trump’s tweet said. “Make your products in the United States instead of China. Start building new plants now. Exciting!”
Last Wednesday, Apple sent a letter to the Trump Administration warning that the move could lead to higher prices for Apple devices, including Watches, AirPods and HomePods. And the negative impact, Apple warned, would be worse in the U.S. than in China.
“Because all tariffs ultimately show up as a tax on US consumers, they will increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives,” Apple’s letter said.
Following Trump’s response, Apple’s shares declined 1.3% at $218.33 a share Monday. Since Apple made public its letter about its trade concerns, its stock has slid 4.4%, ratcheting its market cap back down toward the $1 trillion level it first reached a month ago
But the bigger impact was felt in Asia. Shares of Apple suppliers Luxshare Precision, Shenzhen Sunway, and Suzhou Dongshan Precision fell as much as 10%, Reuters said. That helped fan concerns of trade tensions between Asia and the U.S., which led many Asian markets lower. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.3% Monday while the Shanghai Composite fell 1.2%.