The Trump Administration Told Apple CEO Tim Cook the iPhone Would Be Spared From China Tariffs
President Trump isn’t going to punish the iPhone in his escalating trade war with China.
The New York Times reported on Monday that the Trump administration assured Apple CEO Tim Cook that the iPhone would not be on the list of tariffed goods, citing a person familiar with the matter. Cook met with Trump earlier this year to dissuade him from levying tariffs against goods manufactured in China, citing the damage such a trade war would do to American companies. It’s not clear whether he specifically asked for an exemption for the iPhone or when the administration assured him it wouldn’t be taxed.
But Trump isn’t the only person who could hurt Apple’s manufacturing in China. The company also fears that Chinese retaliation to the U.S. treatment of Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE (ZTCOY) could come down hard on Apple’s activities in the country. Cook has therefore been meeting with high-ranking members of Xi Jinping’s administration in addition to his meetings with American officials, becoming what the Times terms “tech’s top diplomat.”
The current list of Chinese-manufactured goods that will face tariffs in the U.S. include some parts destined for consumer electronics, meaning some U.S. chipmakers will have to pay tariffs on their own goods.
A spokesperson for Apple (AAPL) did not immediately return Fortune‘s request for comment.