“You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change”- Tim Cook
The Building Trade War
On Monday morning, President Trump ordered the United States Trade Representatives to find $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to tariff. China responded by putting a tariff on $50 billion worth of U.S. goods. Trump has since threatened to enact yet another tariff on the country. Such escalation is sparking fear of a “trade war”.
A trade war spells trouble for Apple, a company headquartered in California and who manufactures mostly in China. The United State’s biggest import from China is smartphones, totaling $70.4 billion in 2017. JP Morgan has stated that “A substantial portion of China’s exports are western products manufactured locally — [such as] Apple (AAPL) iPhones.” Almost 20% of Apple’s revenue comes from China, as the company shipped over 41 million phones there. Although Apple has received reassurance from President Trump that they would not be on the list of items subjected for the tariff, the tech company still may be affected.
(Source: Wall Street Journal)
Will Tariffs Take a Bite out of Apple?
Apple has been increasing its inventory by 3.3 billion in preparation for possible repercussions. The company has many rightful worries on when and how they may be affected. Tariffs may affect Apple’s suppliers, causing major delays or a rise in costs. Fear also spawns over the possibility of a repeat of 2016: Apple services being banned by China. In doing so, China could make a huge push for citizens to use Chinese smartphones over American ones. Also, if China were to tax iPhones, prices would rise and Apple would be driven out of the market.
How the Market Reacted
Apple’s stock has slumped since the announcement of the additional tariffs.