Apple Urges U.S. to Keep the Mac Pro out of Its Trade War with China

2019 Apple Mac Pro Credit: Marques Brownlee / YouTube
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Apple is reportedly asking the White House to exclude certain Mac Pro components from recent tariffs placed on nearly $200 billion of Chinese imports.

The Cupertino tech giant is apparently looking to get relief from 25 percent duties on key Mac Pro parts, including its external frame and chassis, cables, power supplies and circuit boards. That’s according to recently published filings by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

While the documents don’t mention the Mac Pro by name, some of the associated specifications match the Mac Pro pretty exactly. Apple is also seeking exclusions for Mac Pro accessories, such as the Magic Mouse and the Magic Trackpad.

Those exclusion requests were posted on July 18. They’re subject to a public comment period before they’re reviewed by government officials.

President Donald Trump has promised tariff relief if companies can prove that certain products or parts can only be sourced from China. Firms may also get an exclusion if they can show that parts are not “strategically important” to Chinese industrial programs or if import tariffs will cause “severe economic harm.”

It’s worth noting that Apple has been spared from recent import tariffs on the past, including for the Apple Watch and AirPods. According to pretty much all of the past exclusion requests, Apple says that “there are no other sources for this proprietary, Apple-designed component.”

The newly published requests come just a few weeks after The Wall Street Journal reported that the upcoming Mac Pro will be produced by Quanta Computer at a plant near Shanghai.

While the previous Mac Pro was made in Texas, Apple ran into a variety of problems with the manufacturing and supply situation there. Because of that, moving the 2019 Mac Pro’s production to China only makes sense.

It’s worth noting that the 2013 “trashcan” Mac Pro was Apple’s only major hardware product manufactured in the U.S.

In a statement last month, Apple noted that “final assembly is only one part of the manufacturing process” and added that the new Mac Pro is designed and engineered in the U.S. and features some locally produced components.

The Trump administration has threatened to place tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese imports, which would impact nearly every Apple product. Thus far, the administration has held off.

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