Trump reportedly told Tim Cook iPhones would be spared tariffs

Cell phones weren’t on the list of Chinese goods facing 25 percent US tariffs.

President Donald Trump assured Apple CEO Tim Cook that the US government wouldn’t levy tariffs on iPhones, which are assembled in China, the New York Times reported Monday.

Cook visited the White House last month to warn Trump that his trade policies with China could have an adverse affect on new corporate-tax rules and that tariffs were effectively a tax on consumers, sources told the newspaper.

The Office of the US Trade Representative on Friday said that $50 billion worth of Chinese goods with “industrially significant technologies” will be subject to 25 percent tariffs. More than 1,100 types of products will be affected, with the US government specifically excluding “goods commonly purchased by American consumers such as cellular telephones or televisions.”

The tariffs underscore the tension between China and the US over trade negotiations, a back-and-forth that roped in Chinese smartphone maker ZTE. The tariffs are part of the US’ response to China’s policies that require foreign companies to hand over trade secrets involving technology, intellectual property and innovation, the US government said.

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