Trump Says the U.S. Could Impose Tariffs on Apple’s iPhone and Laptop Imports

November 26, 2018, 11:23 PM UTC

Apple’s stock was down nearly 2% late Monday after President Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that he might levy tariffs of 10% on iPhones and laptops imported from China, products that have been exempt so far from fallout in the U.S.-China trade war.

Apple’s stock price closed official trading up 1.4% amid a rebound in beaten-down tech stocks. But the stock tumbled as much as 1.9% in after-hours trading following The Journal’s interview with Trump.

In the interview, Trump indicated he will boost tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from the current 10%. Many products, such as mobile phones and laptops, were exempt from those tariffs. Apple CEO Tim Cook had lobbied the president to keep its popular iPhone free from tariffs.

And if an upcoming round of trade talks with China doesn’t resolve trade tensions, Trump said, he might put tariffs on the Chinese imports that have avoided them so far. “If we don’t make a deal, then I’m going to put the $267 billion additional on,” Trump said, noting that they could face a tariff rate of either 10% or 25%.

Trump mentioned Apple’s iPhones and laptops as consumer goods that might be subject to tariffs. “Maybe. Maybe. Depends on what the rate is,” he said. “I mean, I can make it 10%, and people could stand that very easily.”

Apple’s stock has fallen 25% since reaching a peak of $233.47 in early October. Much of that decline came after Apple warned investors that the revenue in the current quarter, typically Apple’s busiest because of the holiday season, could come in below analyst expectations.