President Trump on Thursday announced plans to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. The tariff could cause companies to raise prices for products that use the affected metals. This includes Apple, which relies heavily on those metals for manufacturing their products.
In opposition to pro-trade advisors, Trump intends to sign a measure next week that will impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, reports The New York Times. The president is calling for a no exemption policy, effectively levying a hefty tax on all foreign imports of those metals.
“People have no idea how badly our country has been treated by other countries,” Trump said. “They’ve destroyed the steel industry, they’ve destroyed the aluminum industry, and other industries, frankly.”
Apple uses the metals to build a number of its products including the iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac. However, most of those products are manufactured outside of the United States, so it depends on how the tariffs are imposed.
If the measure is applied to raw materials, the company might not be hit too hard. However, if the tariff is applied to finished goods, analyst Gene Munster of Loup Ventures believes Apple device costs could rise as much as 0.2%.
Not everyone agrees with that estimate though, as Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang believes the tariff is unlikely to lead to an increase in costs.
“It’ll just increase the trade wars between the U.S. and China, but there won’t be much impact on the technology itself,” Zhang told Bloomberg.
It would be up to Apple to decide whether it would raise its prices to account for any increase in raw materials or simply eat the additional costs to maintain its current pricing levels.