Tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could drive up Apple prices

President Trump said on Thursday that he would impose stiff tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, reports The New York Times. If it passes, it could drive up prices on Apple products.

In a “hastily arranged meeting with industry executives that stunned many inside the West Wing” Trump said he would formally sign the trade measures next week and promised they would be in effect “for a long period of time,” according to The Times. The action, which came against the wishes of the Pressdent’s pro-trade advisers, would impose tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum, effectively placing a tax on every foreign shipment of those metals into the U.S.

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Trump’s authority to impose such sweeping tariffs stems from a Commerce Department investigation that concluded last month that imported metal threatened national security by degrading the American industrial base. The administration has said it wants to combat cheap metals flooding into the United States, particularly from China, but a broad set of tariffs would fall most heavily on allies, especially Canada, which supplies steel and aluminum to American companies as well as the military, notes The Times.

According to Gene Munster of Loup Ventures, Apple is unlikely to suffer a major blow if Trump's trade measure applies to raw materials. Currently, Apple's domestic manufacturing capacity is limited to the production of certain Macs, specifically the aluminum-cylindered Mac Pro. However, if the tariffs apply to finished goods, Munster estimates Apple device came to this conclusion by calculating the tax as a percentage of the metal components that go into iPhones and Macs.