Saturday January 19, 2019
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Trump Wants Apple to Avoid its Tariffs by Moving Production to US

The presidential tweet was the latest salvo in a dispute between the Trump administration and companies that fear tariffs will hurt their business

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Apple
Top apps using Siri Shortcuts to make daily tasks easier: Apple. Pixabay

President Donald Trump concedes that some Apple Inc. products may become more expensive if his administration imposes “massive” additional tariffs on Chinese-made goods, but he says the tech company can fix the problem by moving production to the U.S.

“Start building new plants now. Exciting!” Trump said Saturday in a tweet aimed at the Cupertino, California, company.

This week, Apple said that a proposed additional round of tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports would raise prices on some of its products, including the Apple Watch and the Mac mini.

The company is highly exposed to a trade war between the U.S. and China. It makes many of its products for the U.S. market in China, and it also sells gadgets including the iPhone in China, making them a potential target for Chinese retaliation against the Trump tariffs.

Apple
Customers look at iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus phones at an Apple Store in San Francisco, California, Sept. 22, 2017. (VOA)

Trump tweeted Saturday that “Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China — but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive,” if the company made its products in the U.S. instead of China.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The company has not announced plans to move manufacturing from China to the U.S.

‘Tax on U.S. consumers’

In its letter this week to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Apple said that “because all tariffs ultimately show up as a tax on U.S. consumers, they will increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives.”

The company said tariffs would hit “a wide range of Apple products,” including computers, watches, adapters, chargers and tools used in its U.S. manufacturing, repair and data centers. Apple said the tariffs would raise the cost of its U.S. operations and put it at a disadvantage to foreign rivals.

Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump.

The White House has accused China of stealing U.S. intellectual property and forcing American companies to share their technology with Chinese companies. The tariffs would pressure China to stop that behavior, the administration has said. Apple said “it is difficult to see” how tariffs would advance the government’s goal.

The presidential tweet was the latest salvo in a dispute between the Trump administration and companies that fear tariffs will hurt their business.

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The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of imports from China, mostly equipment and material used by manufacturers. CEO Tim Cook said in July that those measures had no effect on Apple. The company is concerned, however, about the Trump administration’s proposal to add 25 percent duties on another $200 billion in Chinese goods, including a wider assortment of consumer-related items. (VOA)

Next Story

Caravans Inflame the Debate Over United States Immigration Policy

Some of the migrants expected to stay in Mexico to find work but it was too early to say how many, she said.

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Migrants from Honduras, part of a new caravan from Central America trying to reach the United States, show their bracelets in an immigration facility in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Jan. 17, 2019. (VOA)

Almost 1,000 Central American migrants entered southern Mexico Thursday in a test of the new government’s pledge to manage an ongoing exodus fueled by violence and poverty that has strained relations with the Trump administration.

Mexico’s National Migration Institute said 969 migrants from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua crossed into Ciudad Hidalgo just days after new U.S.-bound caravans of people set off from Central America.

Caravans from Central America have  with U.S. President Donald Trump using the migrants to try to secure backing for his plan to build a border wall on the frontier with Mexico.

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Caravans from Central America have inflamed the debate over U.S. immigration policy, with U.S. President Donald Trump using the migrants to try to secure backing for his plan to build a border wall on the frontier with Mexico., VOA

Humanitarian approach

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is pursuing a “humanitarian” approach to the problem, vowing to stem the flow of people by finding jobs for the migrants. In exchange, he wants Trump to help spur economic development in the region.

The U.S. government has been partially shut down for more than three weeks as Democrats resist Trump’s demand that Congress provide $5.7 billion to fund his planned wall.

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Migrants from Honduras, part of a new caravan from Central America trying to reach the United States, wait to be processed in an immigration facility in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Jan. 17, 2019. (voa)

Mexican officials put wristbands on the migrants as they entered the country to monitor the flow of people. The bands must be kept until the migrants register with authorities.

Once registered, migrants who met the requirements to stay would be issued humanitarian visas, allowing them to work in Mexico or continue to the U.S. border, said Ana Laura Martinez de Lara, director general of migratory control and verification.

Those who entered Mexico at the official border crossing had done so in a “very orderly” and respectful manner, in contrast to clashes that took place at the frontier in October when a larger caravan began crossing from Guatemala, she said.

Some of the migrants expected to stay in Mexico to find work but it was too early to say how many, she said.

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Hundreds waiting to cross

Martinez de Lara said about 700 people were still waiting to cross into Mexico from Tecun Uman on the Guatemalan side of the border. She could not say if any people had tried to cross into Mexico illegally.

Mexico’s government said Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard planned to meet U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo soon for talks on their efforts to address the migration challenge. No date was yet set for the talks, a ministry spokeswoman said.( VOA)