FILE PHOTO: A customer tests Apple's iPhone 11 after it went on sale at the Apple Store in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: A customer tests Apple's iPhone 11 after it went on sale at the Apple Store in Beijing

Apple asks US to waive tariffs on Chinese-made watches, iPhone parts, AirPods

By David Shepardson Time of article published Nov 4, 2019

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INTERNATIONAL - Apple Inc asked the Trump administration to waive tariffs on Chinese-made Apple Watches, iPhone components and other consumer products, according to company filings with the US Trade Representative’s Office.

The company on Thursday sought tariff exclusions from 11 products, including HomePod speakers, iMac computers, parts for use in repairing iPhones, iPhone smart battery cases, AirPods and others. The public has until  the 14th of November to submit comments on the requests.

Apple told the US Trade Representative’s Office the products were consumer electronic devices and “not strategically important or related to ‘Made in China 2025’ or other Chinese industrial programs.”

The exclusions seek relief from 15 percent tariffs that took effect on the 1st of September.

FitBit Inc asked the administration to waive tariffs on its fitness trackers. The company told the administration “the vast majority of global production capacity for wrist-wearable communications devices is in China.”

The company added that “while Fitbit is aware of facilities currently producing such devices in Taiwan and South Korea, these facilities are fully owned by, or otherwise contracted to, Fitbit competitors that use them for their own branded production, rendering them unavailable to Fitbit.” 

Alphabet announced Friday it has reached a deal to acquire Fitbit.

Apple submitted the requests on the first day the Trump administration began accepting them. An Apple spokesman did not immediately comment.

Apple’s wearables and accessories business - which includes the Apple Watch, AirPods and HomePod - brought in $24.5 billion in its fiscal 2019 ended in September, or about 9.4 percent of Apple’s revenue. Sales in the segment were up 41 percent versus the prior year, and the devices have become an important driver of Apple’s business as iPhone sales declined for the past four straight quarters.


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