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Trump’s Tariff Deadline Offers No Sign Of A Reprieve

The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things – especially the US tariff deadline imposed by the Trump Administration that will see the cost of importing billions of dollars of products from China increase by 15 percent from today.

The tariffs will see price rises for many electronic product, including televisions, smart speakers, drones, toys, smartwatches, fitness trackers, computers, digital cameras and lithium batteries.

Apple’s AirPods and the Apple Watch, its HomePod speakers and iMac desktops are all in the tariff firing line. Trump has heard pleas from Apple CEO Tim Cook to exempt the iPhone maker from the new levy, but there’s no indication yet of a reprieve.

Apple does most of its final assembly in China, leaving it vulnerable to the tariffs, and it has been unable to meet demand by moving production of some goods to new production lines in India and Brazil.

Analysts say Apple is more likely to absorb the tariff costs than raise the price of its products, a move which could cost Apple US$500 million.

In all, 19 Apple products currently face tariffs, but as yet none have seen price increases as the tariffs aren’t expected to impact the company for another month.

Consumer electronics will be hit again in December when the tariffs will affect another $115 billion of technology products, including big-ticket items such as smartphones, laptops, tablets and video game consoles.

Initially they were included in the September tariffs list, but have been delayed until December due to the holiday season in the US.

Apple and other electronics companies still have a chance to avoid the December tariffs by applying for an exclusion. Apple is expected to make an application, as it has received exemptions in the past, but the process hasn’t opened up yet.

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