The United States and President Donald Trump are currently embroiled in a trade war with China which has seen both countries hike the tariff for the respective items they import. However, President Donald Trump has reassured Apple’s CEO Tim Cook that the U.S. government would not levy tariffs on iPhones assembled in China.
The report from New York Times claims that Cook traveled to the White House last month to meet Trump and inform him of the adverse effect that the president’s trade policies could have on Apple’s position in China. Back in March, during a major summit, Cook called for “calmer heads” to prevail between the two countries.
Despite Trump reassuring Cook that the United States would not impose tariffs on iPhones assembled in China, Apple is worried that China could respond in ways that could end up hampering its business.
Apple fears “the Chinese-bureaucracy machine is going to kick in,” meaning the Chinese government could cause delays in its supply chain and increase scrutiny of its products under the guise of national-security concerns, according to one person close to the company.
To prevent this, Apple executives and lobbyists in Bejing and Washington are working on a project called Red Apple where they have been fostering close ties with the Chinese administration and the leader Xi Jinping.
The report also outlines how Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has been attending key Chinese conferences and meeting key administrators in China to help build close ties with the country thereby ensuring Apple’s operations are not affected in any way.[Via NY Times]