US President Trump has responded to Apple's concerns about tariffs with a tweet acknowledging that Apple products could get more expensive as a result of his administration's escalating trade war with China.
However, Trump suggested that there was an "easy solution" to this issue. All Apple had to do to avoid import taxes was to rebuild all of its manufacturing in the US. "Start building new plants now," he tweeted on Saturday morning. "Exciting!"
Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump told reporters on Friday (local time) that his administration was days away from imposing a new round of tariffs on imports worth $US200 billion ($NZ306 billion) and that it could follow up with another round of tariffs on goods worth an additional $US267 billion ($NZ408 billion).
Apple voiced its concerns about these tariffs in a public filing on Friday, arguing that tariffs could make a wide range of products the company is selling to US consumers more expensive. Affected products will include Apple Watch, Homepod, Apple Pencil, Air Pods, Mac Mini, cables, adapters and other accessories, according to the filing.
"Our concern with these tariffs is that the US will be hardest hit, and that will result in lower US growth and competitiveness and higher prices for US consumers," the company wrote. "Because all tariffs ultimately show up as a tax on US consumers, they will increase the cost of Apple products that our customers have come to rely on in their daily lives."
The suggestion that Apple could easily move all of its manufacturing to the US doesn't quite match up with the realities of the consumer electronics industry, which depends on China's significantly lower wages as well as the country's massive manufacturing infrastructure.
Apple doesn't actually run its own factories in China, but uses contract manufacturers like Foxconn to build the iPhone and other products.
Foxconn's largest factory is estimated to be 3.6km in size, and reportedly at one point housed up to 450,000 workers, many of whom live in dorms on the factory grounds.
Last year, a New York University student who worked undercover in an iPhone factory reported that he made $US450 ($NZ685 per month.)