Thursday 17 January 2019

Cook out to cool trade tensions at Trump talks

Apple boss Tim Cook and Apple head of environment Lisa Jackson
Apple boss Tim Cook and Apple head of environment Lisa Jackson

Mark Gurman

Apple CEO Tim Cook is to meet President Donald Trump at the White House as the company looks to head off a brewing trade war between the US and China.

The sitdown between Cook and Trump will take place in the Oval Office and be closed to the press, according to the president's official schedule released by the White House.

The Trump administration's decision to pursue tariffs on as much as $150bn (€122bn) in Chinese goods has stoked trade tensions with Beijing that could affect Apple's business in Asia. Its sprawling production chain is also centered in China.

Last month, Cook told a conference in Beijing that he hoped that China and the US could resolve their differences on trade. "The countries that embrace openness do exceptional and the countries that don't, don't," he said. "It's not a matter of carving things up between sides. I'm going to encourage that calm heads prevail."

A trade war could place Apple in the Chinese government's cross-hairs. A Communist Party newspaper last month listed the iPhone maker among the American companies that would be "most damaged" if a trade war erupted. Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment after regular business hours.

Cook was among the guests on Tuesday evening at the first state dinner of Trump's presidency, a formal fete for French President Emmanuel Macron. The Apple chief was accompanied by Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment and government affairs and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama. (Bloomberg)

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