Apple is not alone in fearing President Donald Trump’s threat to extend tariffs over all the goods the US imports from China.
Experts said the threat of retaliation by China will dial up the risk for Ireland that a trade spat will develop into a fully-fledged global trade war.
The Central Bank and Irish Fiscal Advisory Council have in recent days warned about a long list of risks facing the Irish economy but all the threats have a common theme: Ireland’s prosperity is anchored on a corporate tax regime that lures US multinationals to set up home here.
US multinationals like Apple paid the lion’s share of the €8bn the Government collected in corporate tax receipts in 2017. That bounty could reach €10bn this year, and should keep on growing next year, in the absence of a trade war.
Apple employs 6,000 people in Ireland, most of whom are based in Cork, managing many of its global operations. It has 80,000 staff in the US and employs 123,000 people worldwide.
Apple has warned new tariffs would lead to higher prices for a “wide range” of Apple products in the US. It is not alone, however. Dell said the proposed tariffs will increase costs of vital components in the US. It added that the tariffs on desktops and servers, computer parts, network switches could result in “serious damage” to the company and its employees. Intel said proposed tariffs would negatively affect US businesses and “stifle advancements” in telecom infrastructure, like 5G. Fitness tracker maker Fitbit said increased tariffs would compromise its investments.
Irish Examiner and Reuters