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Trump says consumers ‘could stand’ 10 percent tariff on iPhones

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President Donald Trump Signs S.3021 Photo by Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump has told The Wall Street Journal he expects tariffs to be placed on all Chinese imports, including items like iPhones. This could boost the cost of an iPhone by 10 percent, a hike which Trump believes would not be a problem. “People could stand that very easily,” Trump told the Journal.

The news comes four days ahead of a summit between Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. China’s top priority for the summit is to try to persuade the US to not implement a planned tariff increase that’s set to kick in on January 1st, which would raise existing tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent. Trump says Beijing’s request to hold off on this increase is “highly unlikely.”

If negotiations don’t pan out, tariffs would likely also be imposed upon the $267 billion worth of Chinese imports that still remain untaxed, which would include Apple devices and other tech products. Trump has not decided if the rate for these new tariffs would be 10 or 25 percent.

This new tariff could affect many hardware-producing tech companies, and increase the price of goods like Apple’s iPhones and laptops imported from China. When asked about whether consumers would have an adverse reaction to paying more for these types of products, Trump said, “Maybe. Maybe. Depends on what the rate is.” The 10 percent rate, he said, could be “very easily” shouldered by consumers.

Trump suggested companies consider relocating facilities if they want to avoid steep tariffs. “What I’d advise is for them to build factories in the United States and to make the product here,” he told the Journal. “And they have a lot of other alternatives.”

Xi and Trump are set to meet at the G20 Summit in Argentina later this week.