Trump warns China against 'another Tiananmen Square,' says Tim Cook made 'compelling' tariff case

President Trump told reporters on Sunday that Apple CEO Tim Cook privately made a "very compelling argument" that the administration's tariffs on Chinese-assembled goods have made an unfair impact on the California-based tech giant, because its chief rival, Samsung, has conducted most of its manufacturing in South Korea and did not have to pay the levy.

The president also issued a stern warning to China, saying there might not be an end to the trade war if the government resorts to "violence" to crush demonstrators in Hong Kong.

Trump announced last week he would delay major new tariffs on China for three months, and his latest comments hinted that more concessions may be forthcoming. The new ten-percent tariffs had been slated to go into effect Sept. 1, and would have affected Apple's signature iPhones and iPads.

In May, Trump increased tariffs on roughly $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, but later nixed steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico. In June, China hiked its retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. by more than 15 percent.

"I had a very good meeting with Tim Cook," Trump said at an airport in New Jersey, on his way back to the White House. "I have a lot of respect for Tim Cook, and Tim was talking to me about tariffs. And, one of the things, and he made a good case, is that Samsung is their number-one competitor, and Samsung is not paying tariffs because they're based in South Korea."

Trump continued: "It's tough for Apple to pay tariffs if they're competing with a very good company that's not. I said, 'How good a competitor?' He said they're a very good competitor. ... I thought he made a very compelling argument, so I'm thinking about it."


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