Apple faces Trump's ire after company says tariffs would hurt products

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Its statement came after President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that if the automaker built its crossover model on American soil then it wouldn't pay any tariffs.

Ford on August 31 said it was dropping plans to ship the Focus Active from China to America, citing the Trump administration's new tariffs.

Over the weekend, he suggested in a tweet that Apple move its manufacturing plants to the U.S.to avoid tariffs in the simmering trade war between the USA and China.

Apple Inc said a "wide range" of its products including the Apple Watch would be affected by proposed USA tariffs on Chinese goods but gave no sign of an impact on its iPhone.

Under this new vision for the Ford lineup, only two passenger cars would be sold in the USA: the Mustang, an instantly recognizable sports vehicle and symbol, and the China-made Focus Active. But it is running out of room to match them dollar-for-dollar, raising concern it will resort to other measures, such as weakening the yuan or taking action against USA companies in China. Earlier this year Ford cancelled all its smaller cars with the exception of the Mustang and the Focus Active. It stopped making Focus sedans at a Wayne, Michigan, plant in May.

"[Ford can make Focuses] in many other plants around the world, so if they made a decision to continue to sell a Focus variant in the USA market, there are several options other than building it in the United States". After the earlier tariffs targeting US$50 billion of United States goods, that leaves barely US$100 billion for retaliation, or half of Trump's US$200 billion list of goods for the second round of tariffs.

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Auto industry analyst Ed Kim told the Guardian that Trump's tariffs have, effectively, ruined Ford's plan for the Focus.

If Ford sold fewer than 50,000 Focus Active wagons per year, it would run a U.S. factory on only one shift per day, which isn't cost-effective, Dziczek said. The company had plans to begin making the vehicle in China in the latter half of 2019 and exporting them to the U.S. market. "Start building new plants now", Trump tweeted.

The tariffs changed everything.

"The burden of the proposed tariffs will fall much more heavily on the United States than on China", Apple said in its letter.

The US and China have activated additional tariffs on $50bn (£38.63bn) of each other's goods since July as trade friction between the world's two biggest economies worsened.

The US has imposed $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods with another $200 billion in the final stages.

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