US Could Tariff iPhones and Laptops Imported from China

Director of National Economic Council Larry Kudlow   Getty Images  Pool

Director of National Economic Council Larry Kudlow Getty Images Pool

The news sent shares lower in London and NY on Tuesday, after Trump told the Wall Street Journal it was "highly unlikely" that he would heed a call by Beijing to refrain from increasing the tariffs from the start of next year.

"Although the current economic situation in the good, people can not rule out the possibility of another-I don't want to use the word "crisis"-a similar situation as what happened 10 years ago", he warned".

US President Donald Trump has said he expected to raise punitive tariff rates on hundreds of billions in Chinese imports as early as January 1, 2019.

Chinese officials have said that putting off the planned tariff increase was a top goal in negotiations, The Hill reported.

Apple Inc fell 2.0 percent in premarket trading after Trump said that tariffs could also be placed on laptops and iPhones imported from China.

Trump's threat of broader tariffs comes ahead of this week's G20 summit in Argentina where he's expected to meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping.

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"Maybe. Maybe. Depends on what the rate is", Trump said, talking about phones and laptop computers. If the iPhone were subject to a 10%-25% tariff, consumers would bear most of the extra cost. Trump didn't discuss dedicated gaming hardware specifically, but he did comment on the potential for a hike in iPhone prices.

"Some of the negative datapoints are embedded into Apple's December-quarter guide", RBC analyst Amit Daryanani said in a note sent out to clients on Tuesday.

Shares of Boeing, the single largest USA exporter to China, fell 1.2% and fellow Dow component Caterpillar fell 1.6%, weighing on industrial stocks.

Apple products have so far escaped the growing trade war between China and the Trump administration, but the grace period may be coming to an end soon.

Approximately half of all Chinese imports to the USA have been subject to a 10 percent tariff since September, but if upcoming trade negotiations between the United States and China don't work out, the tariffs could be expanded to all imported goods from China. Of course, Apple is far from the only USA tech company to be potentially affected, though it's certainly among the most high-profile.

In Trump's nearly two years in office, Cook has met with him multiple times at large meetings with other technology executives and privately at the White House.

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