Trump: US could tariff iPhones and laptops imported from China

WASHINGTON DC, Nov 27: US President Donald Trump suggested he could place 10 percent tariffs on popular electronic products imported from China, like iPhones, also noting that it is “highly unlikely” he would delay a planned increase in tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on January 1.

Trump made his comments in an interview for the Wall Street Journal which was published Monday, just four days before his scheduled meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, CNBC reported. 

“Maybe. Maybe. Depends on what the rate is,” the president said to WSJ about the possible iPhone and laptop tariffs. “I mean, I can make it 10 percent, and people could stand that very easily.”

Following Trump’s remarks, Apple stock was down nearly 2 percent in after-hours trading. Apple’s products are currently exempt from US tariffs. Although iPhones are assembled in China, some of the parts come from the US.

The US president also said that it is “highly unlikely” that Washington would delay a scheduled January tariff increase unless another trade deal is agreed upon.

“If we don’t make a deal, then I’m going to put the $267 billion additional on,” Trump said.

Trump and Xi are scheduled to meet this week at the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Argentina.