U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he plans to impose tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum to protect domestic producers. Trump is expected to sign the formal order next week, and he promised that it will remain in effect for a “long period of time.”
The controversial plan would almost certainly apply to Apple products like iPhones, iPads, and Macs, which contain a significant amount of the metals. The latest 15-inch MacBook Pro contains 740 grams of aluminum, for example, while the iPhone X contains 58 grams of stainless steel for its frame.
The details of Trump’s plan aren’t fully clear yet, however, according to Bloomberg News. If the tariffs only apply to raw materials, for instance, then Apple would be largely unaffected since the majority of its devices are assembled in Asia and shipped to the United States as finished products.
If the duties do apply to finished products, analyst Gene Munster speculated Apple’s costs to make Macs and iPhones could rise as much as 0.2 percent, assuming the tax is a percentage of the steel and aluminum used in the devices.
Apple’s domestic manufacturing is limited to the Mac Pro, assembled in Austin, Texas. The high-end computer contains 3,660 grams of aluminum and steel imported from outside of the United States, making it subject to the proposed tariffs. However, the Mac Pro is only produced in limited quantities.
The biggest question is whether the impact on Apple’s profit margins would lead the company to raise the prices of Macs and iPhones, but given the company’s costs are only estimated see a marginal increase, it would seem unlikely.
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