Apple faces Trump's ire after company says tariffs would hurt products

Andrew Cummings
September 10, 2018

Ford's North America product communications manager, Mike Levine, spelled it out for the president in a tweet noting "it would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the USA given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units and its competitive segment".

In August, Ford announced it had kill its plan to import the new Focus, citing Trump's tariffs on Chinese imports as the reason for the maneuver.

Ford responded the same day in a statement to The Detroit News that it won't build the Focus Active in the the expected yearly sales of less than 50,000 would make the project unprofitable.

In its statement, Ford said, "It would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the US", citing meager sales forecasts for the Focus Active in the states.

He said he was ready to impose tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports into the United States, threatening duties on another $267-billion of goods in addition to the $200-billion already facing threatened tariffs. "We hope, instead, that you will reconsider these measures and work to find other, more effective solutions that leave the USA economy and USA consumer stronger and healthier than ever before", Apple said.

Cook met with Trump last month, and complimented Apple's CEO for "investing big dollars in U.S.A".

The tariffs, ranging from 5 percent to 25 percent, would apply to 5,207 products, and USA actions will determine whether China adopts the additional duties, Beijing said at the time.

For now, Ford simply won't sell the vehicle in the U.S.

Mr. Trump presumably learned about Ford's decision to cancel the Focus Active from a TV news program and inferred the announcement meant that Ford would build the CUV in America.

The automaker decided a couple years back to shift production of the Focus to Mexico, then last year it opted for China instead. "Exciting! #MAGA", reads Trump's tweet.

Furthermore, as the Huffington Post reported, citing federal statistics, USA trade deficit with China, and the European Union has jumped to a five-month high, in spite of the tariffs. "Looking forward, the focus would be on how the market reacts after Apple releases its latest models", said Kevin Chung, analyst at JihSun Securities Investment Consulting.

Recently Ford announced that it would pull out of all segments in the United States apart from the ever popular Mustang, the GT supercar and all SUVs or crossovers that it now sells.

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