Apple boss warned Trump against China tariffs in White House meeting

 
Miranda Blazeby
Tim Cook met with Trump in April
Tim Cook met with Trump in April (Source: Getty)

Apple boss Tim Cook has revealed he criticised Donald Trump's approach to trade with China in a private meeting with the President last month.

Speaking to Bloomberg TV, Cook shed light on the meeting which took place just weeks after Trump imposed tariffs on more than 1,300 categories of products from China.

China retaliated by enforcing tariffs on US planes and cars, signalling an impending trade war between the two nations.

In an interview with The David Rubenstein Show: Peer to Peer Conversations, Cook revealed the discussion had focused on the importance of trade and the benefits of international cooperation between countries.

Read more: Zuckerberg hits back at Apple CEO Tim Cook

He acknowledged that previous trade policies had not been perfect but imposing such tariffs on at least $50bn (£37bn) worth of products from China was not the answer.

“It’s true, undoubtedly true, that not everyone has been advantaged from that – in either country – and we’ve got to work on that,” Cook said.

“But I felt that tariffs were not the right approach there, and I showed him some more analytical kinds of things to demonstrate why.”

Ahead of the meeting, Trump tweeted that he and Cook would discuss "many things, including how the U.S. has been treated unfairly for many years, by many countries, on trade.”

Cook has good reason to dissuade Trump from pursuing such trade policies with China.

Apple produces most of its products in China and lists both the US and China among its three largest markets. However the tech giant has not been seriously affected by the trade row so far.

Alongside trade discussions, Cook also used the meeting to implore Trump to address the legal status of immigrants brought to the US as children.

A replacement for Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program which spared such immigrants from deportation has not yet been established.

"We’re only one ruling away from a catastrophic case there,” Cook said.

Read more: Donald Trump pledges to help rescue Chinese telecoms giant ZTE

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