Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with NPR to discuss all things China on Monday. Cook believes trade talks between the United States and China could have a positive outcome, which could ease tensions between the two countries and help Apple’s device sales in the Asian market.
Representatives of both countries will meet in Beijing later this week. Cook believes some sort of resolution can be reached during the talks. The talks are an attempt to reach an agreement before a March 1 deadline. If a deal can’t be made, the Trump administration has threatened tariff increases on Chinese imports, raising them from the current 10% to 25%.
“Both sides are talking and I always think that is always the essential thing to reaching an agreement,” Cook told NPR on Monday. “It’s in both parties’ best interests to come together.”
If tariffs are raised, it could proved damaging to Apple, especially if Chinese officials retaliate by raising tariffs on U.S. companies, such as Apple. Close to 20% of Apple’s sales are in made in China.
The prospect of retaliation in the Chinese market is also a real possibility, as rumors have already circulated that numerous Chinese companies have urged their employees to boycott Apple products.
Cook also discussed lowering the price of the iPhone in China. When asked about reducing iPhone prices in China, bringing them down closer to US pricing models, Cook replied with “We’ll see how that works out for us”.