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US grants Apple tariff exemptions despite Trump’s earlier no-go

US grants Apple tariff exemptions despite Trump’s earlier no-go
The US has granted exemptions from tariffs on parts for Apple’s new Mac Pro and on some accessories made in China. This comes amid a wider easing of duties on Chinese goods, but contrasts with President Trump’s earlier remarks.

According to the notices published by the Office of the US Trade Representative in the Federal Register on Friday, Apple has been given approval for 10 of its 15 requests for tariff exemptions.

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Although the company builds its new Mac Pro computers on US soil, some structural parts for the devices – like, for instance, circuit boards– are manufactured in China and therefore are subject to Trump’s 25% levies. These circuit boards have been granted a tariff exemption, as have Mac Pro stainless-steel exterior enclosure, finished Magic Mice and Magic Trackpads. Several requests are still under a substantive review by the trade regulator.

Apple had filed formal requests for the exemptions with President Donald Trump’s administration back in July. The company’s reasoning for the desired exemptions in its initial filing was that “there are no other sources for th[ese] proprietary, Apple-designed component[s].” Apple argued that tariffs on its products could reduce its contribution to the US economy and “weigh on Apple’s global competitiveness” as Chinese tech manufacturers are the main competitors of the products Apple makes.

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However, following Apple’s request for special tariff consideration, President Trump initially tweeted that the company would not be given any waivers and told it to make its Mac Pro in the United States.

Apple will not be given Tariff wavers (sic), or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China. Make them in USA, no Tariffs!” Trump’s tweet stated. Following that tweet, the company even saw a slight drop in its shares.

Apart from Apple components, Friday’s tariff exemption list includes some 400 types of Chinese products. The move to exempt these goods stems from some 1,100 exclusion requests made by a vast number of companies in the United States over the past several months. The list includes a range of computer components used not only by Apple, but by nearly all computer manufacturers, including chips from Intel Corp, Nvidia Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc, considered some of the most expensive parts in the machines. All exemptions, however, are temporary, set to expire by this time next year.

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