Apple filed a request to the US Trade Representative, urging US President Donald Trump to exempt tariff for 15 of its components imported from China. These are believed to be the parts put in Apple’s high-end desktop, new Mac Pro, which would be made available for sale towards the end of this year.
The company is seeking relief from 25% import duties levied on the parts and accessories, used in the making of its products including aluminium frame, energy supplies, internal wires, circuit board and stainless steel. Besides, it is also seeking tariff immunity for its Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, complementary devices for the computer, and a USB cable used for charging external devices.
The details given to US trade Representative, have no mention of the Mac Pro, but the specifications listed by Apple strongly hint at its premium desktop. The plea was filed on July 18 and is currently in public comment period before any decision is taken over it.
This request comes few weeks after the company decided to move the production of its new Mac Pro from Texas to China in order to cut cost transporting the components to the United States for the final stage of production. The company said that the new production unit is located closer to Apple’s other factories in China. The company made the move in tie-up with China’s Quanta Computer, near Shanghai.
The shift of production location has also already come in conflict with Trump’s 2016 campaign statement, when he said,“We’re going to get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries.”
Recently, in a stark tweet Trump mentioned that companies won’t face a tariff if they produce goods ‘at home in the USA’. He added that relief from the tariff would be provided to companies who could provide substantial proofs to the authorities that its imports would not strategically benefit Chinese industrial sector, or that the import duties would cause it ‘severe economic harm’.
In its filing the California-based company said, “There are no other sources for this proprietary, Apple-designed component.” Apple added that there are no replacements for those 15 components, as it could not be bought from a US-based or any other international company.
The company issued a statement few weeks ago justifying its decision to shift. The statement said, “Like all of our products, the new Mac Pro is designed and engineered in California and includes components from several countries including the United States. Final assembly is only one part of the manufacturing process.”
The decision came amid ongoing trade tensions between US and China. Apple faced the brunt of the tariff tiff between the two countries, as China is one of its biggest markets, especially for products like iPhone. In January, Apple missed earnings expectations for the first time in 16 years, majorly due to drop in iPhone sales in China.