President Donald Trump has suggested to the Wall Street Journal that tariffs may be coming on all Chinese imports if trade negotiations between the two countries don’t soon improve in the U.S.’ favor. A new round of comprehensive tariffs like this would also likely include most of Apple’s products, which have previously managed to avoid being caught up in the fray between the trade giants. Trump mentioned this possibility in the interview, although some of his aides have suggested that mobile phones and laptops could still be exempted from tariff increases, fearing a possible consumer backlash. However, in referring to these product categories, Trump acknowledged the possibility, stating that “I can make it 10% and people could stand that very easily.” Apple naturally declined to comment on the President’s remarks, although the company has previously gone on the record with U.S. trade authorities as saying that tariffs would put the company at a disadvantage against foreign competitors and of course result in higher consumer prices in the U.S.
While President Trump is expected to meet with President Xi Jinping of China at a summit at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires later this week, officials in the Trump administration have suggested that the two are unlikely to come to a deal, indicating that the president’s comments may be trying to prepare the market for a negative outcome. China is attempting to convince the U.S. to suspend its planned 2019 increase on tariffs as well as lifting the existing heavy taxes on steel and aluminum produced in China. However, the U.S. is unlikely to accede to these terms, with Trump adding that the only way the two countries could reach a deal would be for China to ” open up their country to competition from the United States” and curb its theft of U.S. intellectual property.