Apple CEO Tim Cook explains why Apple products were exempt from Trump's China tariffs

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook commented on President Trump's decision to exempt Apple products from the new China tariffs.
  • Cook has been vocal about the ongoing trade disagreement, even speaking directly with Trump about the tariffs.
  • He has maintained that the company's flagship handset, the iPhone, isn't likely to see tariffs.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, smiles during a demonstration of the newly released Apple products following the launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, September 12, 2018.
Stephen Lam | Reuters
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, smiles during a demonstration of the newly released Apple products following the launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, September 12, 2018.

Apple CEO Tim Cook explained why his company's products dodged the new round of China tariffs, saying "it's not really great for the United States" to tariff Apple products in an interview on "Good Morning America" Tuesday.

President Donald Trump's latest list of proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods spared some Apple products at the last minute. Apple had earlier said the proposed tariffs would affect the Apple Watch, AirPods and a host of other products.

"I don't want to speak for [the Trump administration], but I think they looked at this and said that it's not really great for the United States to put a tariff on those type of products," Cook told "Good Morning America."

Cook has been vocal about the ongoing trade disagreement, even speaking directly with Trump about the tariffs. He has maintained that the company's flagship handset, the iPhone, isn't likely to see tariffs.

"The iPhone is assembled in China, but the parts come from everywhere, including the United States. You know the glass comes from Kentucky; there are chips that come from the U.S. and of course the research and development is all done in the United States," Cook said.

Cook also said he thinks the ongoing trade disagreement will eventually work itself out.

"I'm optimistic because trade is one of those things where it's not a zero sum game. You know you and I can trade something and we can both win. And so I'm optimistic that the two countries will sort this out and life will go on," Cook said.