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New US-China trade deal will finally put the threat of tariffs to bed for Apple

Mac Pro
Mac Pro (Image credit: MacGeneration)

What you need to know

  • The US and China have been sparring over tariffs.
  • Apple products would have been hit with a 15% tariff.
  • But a new trade deal signals the end of that threat.

US President Donald Trump will sign a new trade deal with Chinese head of state Liu He today. It will signal the end of a long trade battle between the two countries and will see the end of the possibility of tariffs being applied to imported iPhones and other Apple products.

There was the real possibility of iPhones being levied with a 15% tariff because they are made in China. As are many of Apple's products. That 15% tariff was halted pending today's deal, but there was still very much the possibility something could go awry.

If the 15% tariff had come into force Apple would have been dealt with in the same manner as any Chinese company due to the volume of completed products it would be importing. And some of those could have seen tariffs as high as 30%, including desktop Macs like iMac and Mac Pro. US-bound Mac Pro machines are already built in the United States, so wouldn't have been impacted.

The new trade deal is being seen as a win by the Trump administration, although as 9to5Mac points out, that's a matter for debate.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.