Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke directly with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Ligthizer on July 8 thin last summer as the tech industry prepares for a new round of Chinese tariffs,media outlet The Verge reported.
On July 5, an Apple employee wrote after sending out a specific tariff list that affects some of Mac Pro’s products: “Tim and the President of the United States have discussed this matter today, and I can tell you the details.” “If possible, Tim hopes to speak to the ambassador sometime this weekend. “
Emails show that U.S. Trade Representatives Lighthizer and Cook made direct calls a few days after the email was sent. Although the conversation was not directly documented, other emails appeared to discuss the upcoming tariff relief for the various imported components used in Mac Pro assembly in the United States. It is understood that most of these parts were supposed to pay 25% import tax, but were eventually exempted. More importantly for Apple, the measure, which threatened to impose a 15 per cent tariff on iPhones and MacBooks, was never implemented.
Cook and Lighthizer staff kept in touch after the meeting, at least for another call at 4:30 a.m. on August 5. Much of the exchange was edited as sensitive business information, but presumably discussed the business implications of tariffs, an Apple employee told an employee of the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. “
In the meantime, Apple has spoken out against tariffs and submitted a series of official responses, highlighting the company’s contribution to the U.S. economy. In the meantime, Cook also met with President Trump to explain the tariffs to the company.
In August, Cook said at a private dinner with Trump that the tariffwould would make Apple less competitive with its foreign rivals. “Tim and I talked about tariffs, and one of the things he made is that Samsung is their number one competitor, but Samsung doesn’t have to pay tariffs because they’re based in South Korea,” the president told reporters at the time. “
The full details of Cook’s meeting with Trump have never been made public, and much of what is known comes from the immediate disclosure of Mr. Trump himself. Cook has made several public appearances at the White House, but it is unclear whether Cook has visited the White House outside of those occasions, as the Trump administration has stopped releasing visitor records.
Both Apple and u.S. trade representatives declined to respond to requests for comment in response to The Verge’s latest disclosure.