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Tim Cook tosses light shade at Trump’s tariffs during earnings call – ANITH
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Tim Cook tosses light shade at Trump’s tariffs during earnings call

Tim Cook tosses light shade at Trump’s tariffs during earnings call

Chill.

Image: Drew Angerer/getty

Don’t make Tim Cook mad, or he might elliptically refer to something you did in an earnings call. 

His comments were directed at Donald Trump, whose love for tariffs could impact the cost of certain Apple products, many of which are made and sold in China. 

The small guns were out in medium effect today during the Apple Q3 earnings call, when the CEO casually addressed Trump’s existing and threatened Chinese tariffs. Cook, in typical Cook fashion, minced a few words. 

“Our view on tariffs is that they show up as a tax on the consumer and wind up resulting in lower economic growth,” he noted — without mentioning Trump by name — on the conference call, “and sometimes can bring about significant risks of unintended consequences.”

Ouch. 

But Cook wasn’t done letting Trump know exactly where he stands

“I am optimistic that the countries will get through this, and we are hoping that calm has prevailed.”

According to The Tax Foundation, an independent tax policy nonprofit, Trump’s tariffs will have a real impact on U.S. consumers and manufacturers.  

Listening to criticism closely.

Listening to criticism closely.

“On Friday, July 20, President Trump confirmed plans that were hinted at on July 5 to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports, which would be approximately $500 billion worth of goods,” wrote the organization. “This has been modeled as a 10 percent tariff on $500 billion worth of imports, which amounts to a $50 billion tax increase.”

That news appeared to have encouraged Cook’s fighting words. “We are optimistic,” he noted on today’s call, “as I’ve been the whole time, that this will get sorted out.”

Notably, this may not in fact get sorted out. As the Financial Times pointed out on Sunday, “the devices that make up the bulk of Apple’s multibillion-dollar ‘other products’ unit are exposed to Mr Trump’s looming trade war. Apple could be forced to raise US prices to compensate for higher duties on the Chinese-made products or take a hit to profit margins.”

So, yeah. When you’re paying more for AirPods, remember that Tim Cook very mildly and indirectly kind of tried to prevent it. 

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Anith Gopal
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