The technology executive shared what he told Trump in a recent meeting at the White House.
"I talked about trade and the importance of trade, and how I felt that two countries trading together make the pie larger," Cook said during an interview with Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein in a clip that aired Tuesday on Bloomberg Television.
"I felt that tariffs were not the right approach there. I showed him [Trump] some analytical kind of things to demonstrate why," Cook added.
Cook admitted free trade does hurt certain segments of society.
"It is undoubtedly true that not everyone has been advantaged from that in either country. We've got to work on that," he said.
The full interview will air next month on the "The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations" Bloomberg Television show.