President Trump and Apple are not seeing eye to eye.
On Saturday, the president tweeted that Apple should make its products in the U.S. instead of China, as doing so would allow the company to avoid higher manufacturing costs resulting from new tariffs the administration is planning to impose on China. "Start building new plants now. Exciting!" Trump tweeted, calling his plan for Apple "an easy solution." The tweet came in response to a September 5 letter Apple sent to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) warning of the potentially harmful effects of additional Chinese tariffs.
"Our concern with these tariffs is that the U.S. will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower U.S. growth and competitiveness and higher prices for U.S. consumers," the letter said. Products that could go up in price as a result of the tariffs include the Apple Watch, AirPods wireless headphones, and the Mac Mini computer. It is the first time Apple has publicly detailed how the trade conflict could affect its business, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Apple is not the first company Trump has targeted on Twitter for foreign manufacturing. He previously criticized Ford in 2017 for its plans to make battery-powered cars in Mexico instead of Michigan. On Sunday, Trump again weighed in on the company's manufacturing strategy, tweeting that the Ford Focus Active crossover "can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!" Ford, which had canceled plans to import the Focus Active from China a week ago because of the U.S.'s ongoing trade war with the country, refuted Trump's tweet the same day.
"It would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the U.S. given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units and its competitive segment," the company said in a statement. "Ford is proud to employ more U.S. hourly workers and build more vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker."