Apple Watches and AirPods are safe from Trump’s trade war

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Now you can get yer Apple watch for the low, low price of… well, still not low at all.
Image: screenshot: jake krol/mashable

Well well well, looks like Tim Cook’s glad-handing has paid off.

The Trump administration has now imposed a 10 percent import tariff on a total of more than $500 billion of goods made in China, set to increase to 25 percent in 2019. The tariffs will go into effect on September 24.

While the tariffs will affect a multitude of industries, Apple fans (and a certain white-haired CEO) have been concerned about what Trump’s trade war would do to the price (and desirability) of Apple products. Apple assembles its its devices in China, which would have made them subject to tariffs. That could have added a cost that would have likely made the already expensive Apple products even pricier.

Today, Tim Cook can breathe at least a partial sigh of relief. The Trade Department included Apple Watches and AirPods on a list of 300 products exempt from the tariffs, according to the Wall Street Journal. Whew! Now you can get that Apple Watch Series 4 while it’s hot, sans Trump Tax.

But Apple isn’t out of the woods yet. 

At every step of the burgeoning trade war, China has vowed to retaliate in kind. And that’s bad news for the iPhone. The Journal reports that Beijing is considering retaliatory restrictions on sales of equipment and materials that Apple needs to produce iPhones. So while the Trump administration might not specifically tax iPhone imports in the future, Apple could still pay the price for Trump’s trade war through its dealings with China.

Apple and Tim Cook have been attempting to persuade Trump for months that tariffs were bad for the company and American business. Last week, Apple submitted a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative objecting to the tariffs. Cook has also had multiple meetings with Trump, and Trump even at one point promised that Apple products wouldn’t be affected.

But with the word of our president as molten as baked brie, no one has been certain about what Trump’s trade war would really mean for Apple, and Apple customers. The latest news is encouraging for Apple fans, though also an example of the Trump administrations seemingly arbitrary trade “strategy,” or lack thereof.

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/trump-trade-war-apple-watch-airpods/

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