President Donald Trump says Apple CEO Tim Cook "made a very convincing argument" that tariffs on China would hamper Apple's ability to compete with Samsung. The couple had dinner Friday night at the President's Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and Trump described the conversation to reporters from publications including Bloomberg, CNBC and Fox News on his way back to Washington.
"I had a very good date with Tim Cook," Trump says . "I have a lot of respect for Tim Cook, and Tim talked to me about tariffs. And one of the things, and he made a good case, is that Samsung is their number one competitor and Samsung doesn't pay tariffs because they are based in South Korea. "
Most Apple products are assembled in China and will be subject to a 10 percent import tax later this year. This should come into force on September 1 for products like the Apple Watch and AirPods, though the iPhone, iPad and MacBook line will not be reached until December 15 after the holiday shopping season is delayed.
Samsung has a more diverse supply chain, with much of its manufacturing located in South Korea and Vietnam. Therefore, the company will not be so much affected by the Trump administration's ongoing trade war with China. Apple is said to be looking to move more of its production elsewhere.
Trump gave a preliminary word about a dinner with Cook on Twitter on Friday night, saying that Apple "will spend huge sums of money in the US, Wonderful!" "Although he does not appear to have mentioned in his comments to reporters details of further investment in the US.