Apple spared from Trump’s trade war with China – for now

By

iPhone X
Trump's tariff list doesn't include smartphones and laptops.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone and other major tech products are safe from Trump’s brewing trade war with China.

On Tuesday, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative revealed that it was slapping 25 percent tariffs on 1,300 products coming from China related to technology, transport and medical products. iPhone components were exempt from the list, but other products like magnetic hard drives and flat-panel television sets were hit hard.

The Trump administration’s new tariffs focused mainly on industrially manufactured goods like machines, robots, motors, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

“Just about every major information and communication technology product was exempted,” one U.S. industry told Reuters. “They did target Made in China 2025, but with a caveat. They weren’t going to unduly harm the consumer.”

About $50 billion in tariffs are being targeted as an attempt to get Chinese officials to address intellectual property theft of U.S. companies by Chinese companies. The list was created using a computer algorithm that chose products to hurt Chinese exporters while limiting the impact on U.S. buyers.

Trump’s list will have to undergo a two month comment period before it is finalized. Most consumer electronics like smartphones, laptops, telephone equipment and servers are not included in the list.