After decades of foreign entities pick-pocketing Americans, Pres. Donald J. Trump is fighting a rugged trade war with rival China. Although the president has put safeguards in place for farmers and industries that could be impacted by tariffs, his patience for the tech sector could grow thin.
During the most recent tariff dust-up with the Asian giant, the Trump Administration unleashed yet another wave of tough tariffs. The conventional wisdom in this fight to achieve fair and free trade is that the Chinese economy is far more reliant on the U.S. than Americans are on them.
Trump Gives Tech Sector Tough Love
The populist president has shown little patience for certain companies that cry foul as the administration fights to regain global economic dominance and bring back American jobs. The president has been less than sympathetic to outfits that move plants overseas and complain about the penalties for shipping once-American products back into the U.S. market.
Fearing a profit shrinkage, Apple urged the president to reconsider his latest $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports that would impact its products.
“Because all tariffs ultimately show up as a tax on US consumers, they will increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives,” Apple reportedly stated in a letter to the White House.
Pres. Trump responded with some tough business love that may have taken the tech giant by surprise.
“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, “Pres. Trump reportedly tweeted. “Make your products in the United States instead of China. Start building new plants now.”
Still, Apple CEO Tim Cook lobbied the president with some success. Following a dinner meeting with Cook, the president indicated that he would exempt Apple as trade tensions negatively impacted the company’s stock by 2.7 percent. But the reprieve could be short-lived based on expectations the trade war will continue to escalate.
The most recent tariffs have heaped 10 percent on top of a previous $50 billion. All told, approximately half of all Chinese imports into the U.S. will feel the weight of upwards of a 25-percent tariff by the end of the year. China’s government-controlled media has ramped up rhetoric that it plans to go tariff-for-tariff with Pres. Trump. The White House has drawn a line in the sand saying it will level an additional penalty on more than $260 billion in Chinese goods if the Communist nation retaliates.
While the U.S. stock market continues to flourish overall in the eye of the tariff storm, tech sector stocks have not performed well. Apple, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook and Google all slumped as the recent trade war news hit. China’s stock market has been taking heavy losses throughout the process as business leaders appear to forecast the U.S. prevailing. But in the interim, Pres. Trump has demonstrated considerable disapproval for American companies that shift production overseas.
Trump has No Patience for Turncoats
From the early days of the campaign, Pres. Trump made it abundantly clear that the American jobs and profits were being pilfered. In a war of any sorts, including trade, sides must be chosen.
The bad trade deals that encouraged companies to move operations to foreign lands can be reconciled only if the same unfair practices were to continue. Under Bill Clinton’s NAFTA deal, Obama’s disastrous climate change agreements, and disproportionate business tax structures, American companies were hamstrung. The choice was to move or fold. But those days are over.
Heavily supported by American bikers, the president was swift to take Harley Davidson to task about news it planned to open a plant in Europe. The move was the motorcycle maker’s response to uneven tariffs leveled by the EU for years. The news drew immediate fire from the president.
“Many @harleydavidson owners plan to boycott the company if manufacturing moves overseas. Great! Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors. A really bad move! U.S. will soon have a level playing field, or better,” Pres. Trump tweeted.
Harley Davidson’s stock dropped 9 points following the president’s criticism.
Apple may have gotten a stay of tariff execution for the moment. However, Pres. Trump will inevitably want to hold tech sector outfits accountable to the American people. Apple may want to consider the Made in the USA logo before it gets caught in a crossfire.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter