Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. TESLA! Cathy Wood ARK Funds Bubble BURSTS! - 12th May 21
2.Stock Market Entering Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast - 10th May 21
3.GOLD GDX, HUI Stocks - Will Paradise Turn into a Dystopia? - 11th May 21
4.Crypto Bubble Bursts! Nicehash Suspends Coinbase Withdrawals, Bitcoin, Ethereum Bear Market Begins - 16th May 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.Cathy Wood Ark Invest Funds Bubble BURSTS! ARKK, ARKG, Tesla Entering Severe Bear Market - 13th May 21
7.Stock Market - Should You Be In Cash Right Now? - 17th May 21
8.Gold to Benefit from Mounting US Debt Pile - 14th May 21
9.Coronavius Covid-19 in Italy in August 2019! - 13th May 21
10.How to Invest in HIGH RISK Tech Stocks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 2 of 2 - 18th May 21
Last 7 days
Overclockers UK Custom Built PC 1 YEAR Use Review Verdict - Does it Still Work? - 16th Oct 21
Altonville Mine Tours Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 16th Oct 21
How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
The Only way to Crush Inflation (not stocks) - 14th Oct 21
Why "Losses Are the Norm" in the Stock Market - 14th Oct 21
Sub Species Castle Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 14th Oct 21
Which Wallet is Best for Storing NFTs? - 14th Oct 21
Ailing UK Pound Has Global Effects - 14th Oct 21
How to Get 6 Years Life Out of Your Overclocked PC System, Optimum GPU, CPU and MB Performance - 13th Oct 21
The Demand Shock of 2022 - 12th Oct 21
4 Reasons Why NFTs Could Be The Future - 12th Oct 21
Crimex Silver: Murder Most Foul - 12th Oct 21
Bitcoin Rockets In Preparation For Liftoff To $100,000 - 12th Oct 21
INTEL Tech Stock to the MOON! INTC 2000 vs 2021 Market Bubble WARNING - 11th Oct 21
AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Wall of Worry Meets NFPs - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Intermediate Correction Continues - 11th Oct 21
China / US Stock Markets Divergence - 10th Oct 21
Can US Save Taiwan From China? Taiwan Strait Naval Battle - PLA vs 7th Fleet War Game Simulation - 10th Oct 21
Gold Price Outlook: The Inflation Chasm Between Europe and the US - 10th Oct 21
US Real Estate ETFs React To Rising Housing Market Mortgage Interest Rates - 10th Oct 21
US China War over Taiwan Simulation 2021, Invasion Forecast - Who Will Win? - 9th Oct 21
When Will the Fed Taper? - 9th Oct 21
Dancing with Ghouls and Ghosts at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 9th Oct 21
Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
Scan Computers - Custom Build PC 6 Months Later, Reliability, Issues, Quality of Tech Support Review - 8th Oct 21
Gold and Silver: Your Financial Main Battle Tanks - 8th Oct 21
How to handle the “Twin Crises” Evergrande and Debt Ceiling Threatening Stocks - 8th Oct 21
Why a Peak in US Home Prices May Be Approaching - 8th Oct 21
Alton Towers Scarefest is BACK! Post Pandemic Frights Begin, What it's Like to Enter Scarefest 2021 - 8th Oct 21
AJ Bell vs II Interactive Investor - Which Platform is Best for Buying US FAANG Stocks UK Investing - 7th Oct 21
Gold: Evergrande Investors' Savior - 7th Oct 21
Here's What Really Sets Interest Rates (Not Central Banks) - 7th Oct 21
CISCO 2020 Dot com Bubble Stock vs 2021 Bubble Tech Stocks Warning Analysis - 6th Oct 21
Precious Metals Complex Searching for a Bottom - 6th Oct 21
FB, AMZN, NFLX, GOOG, AAPL and FANG+ '5 Waves' Speaks Volumes - 6th Oct 21
Budgies Flying Ability 10 Weeks After wings Clipped, Flight Feathers Cut Grow Back - 6th Oct 21
Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
Will China's Crackdown Send Bitcoin's Price Tumbling? - 5th Oct 21
Natural Gas News: Europe Lacks Supply, So It Turns to Asia - 5th Oct 21
Stock Market Correction: One More Spark to Light the Fire? - 5th Oct 21
Fractal Design Meshify S2, Best PC Case Review, Build Quality, Airflow etc. - 5th Oct 21
Chasing Value with Five More Biotech Stocks for the Long-run - 4th Oct 21
Gold’s Century - While stocks dominated headlines, gold quietly performed - 4th Oct 21
NASDAQ Stock Market Head-n-Shoulders Warns Of Market Weakness – Critical Topping Pattern - 4th Oct 21
US Dollar on plan, attended by the Gold/Silver ratio - 4th Oct 21
Aptorum Group - APM - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 3rd Oct 21
US Close to Hitting the Debt Ceiling: Gold Doesn’t Care - 3rd Oct 21
Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
Original Oculus VR HeadSet Rift Dev Kit v1 Before Facebook Bought Oculus - 3rd Oct 21
Microsoft Stock Valuation 2021 vs 2000 Bubble - Buy Sell or Hold Invest Analysis - 1st Oct 21
How to profit off the Acquisition spree in Fintech Stocks - 1st Oct 21
�� Halloween 2021 TESCO Shopping Before the Next Big Panic Buying! �� - 1st Oct 2
The Guide to Building a Design Portfolio Online - 1st Oct 21
BioDelivery Sciences International - BDSI - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 30th Sep 21
America’s Revolving-Door Politics Behind the Fall of US-Sino Ties - 30th Sep 21
Dovish to Hawkish Fed: Sounds Bearish for Gold - 30th Sep 21
Stock Market Gauntlet to the Fed - 30th Sep 21
Should you include ESG investments in your portfolio? - 30th Sep 21
Takeda - TAK - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 29th Sep 21
Stock Market Wishing Away Inflation - 29th Sep 21
Why Workers Are NOT Returning to Work as Lockdown's End - Wage Slaves Rebellion - 29th Sep 21
UK Fuel PANIC! Fighting at the Petrol Pumps! As Lemmings Create a New Crisis - 29th Sep 21
Gold Could See Tapering as Soon as November! - 29th Sep 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

The Apple Story - Trump Tariffs Penalize US Multinationals

Companies / Apple Sep 17, 2018 - 06:03 PM GMT

By: Dan_Steinbock

Companies US Taxation Fails Americans
Trump tariffs are based on flawed pre-global doctrines, which penalize US multinationals, as evidenced by Apple. It is not China that fails Americans, but US taxation, as evidenced by Apple.

In the pre-1914 era and during the protectionist interwar period, global economic integration declined drastically. As major corporations competed largely in home markets, their value activities were mainly domestic. Following World War II, the US-led Bretton Woods system ensured a greater degree of internationalization – including systemic US trade deficits since 1971, decades before deficits with China.


Thereafter in the ‘80s, US multinationals began to cut costs through offshoring as large chunks of productive capacity were transferred to emerging markets, especially in Asia. So today the “eco-systems” of US multinationals are increasingly global.

Here’s Trump’s dilemma in a nutshell: While tariffs and tariff wars were typical to the era of domestic competition a century ago, they do not work in a more global era. Even “made in China” products feature diverse value-added inputs by multinational companies producing in, exporting from and selling in China.

In a recent tweet, Trump urged Apple to manufacture in the US, not China. It’s a bad advice. As prices would soar, Apple’s profitability would plunge since it makes 60%-70% of its revenues abroad. If the company would comply, its manufacturing price would soar because of higher labor costs, and loss of advanced manufacturing, logistics and infrastructure in China.

The iPhone is not a marginal example. It alone accounts for an estimated $16 billion of the U.S. trade deficit with China.

“Made in China” does not capture value-added

Since iPhone alone accounts for some $16 billion of the U.S. trade deficit with China, let’s use it as an example. According to data, the initial sale price of Apple’s iPhone X (64BG) was $999. The Trump administration’s tariffs are based on the idea that since this smart phone is made in China, all value-added is captured in China and by China and thus it must be penalized by heavy tariffs.

The breakdown of the iPhone X costs comprises both manufacturing costs ($378) and value shared between distributors and Apple ($621), which accounts for almost two-thirds of total costs. Another fourth of the total consists of various components made in South Korea, Japan, the US, UK, Switzerland, and Singapore.

China’s key contribution is in the basic manufacturing costs ($8) plus battery packs ($6), which is less than 4 percent of the manufacturing cost and 1.4 percent of the total cost of iPhone X (Figure).

Figure          How Apple Captures the Smartphone Value-Added, Not China

iPhone X (64GB): Breakdown of Full Costs



Black =            Value shared between distributors and Apple 
Green =           Modules made in several advanced economies 
Red =              Basic manufacturing, battery packs in China
White =            Information not available

Source: DifferenceGroup, IHS Markit and Reuters

Is the iPhoneX an exception? No. Before the fall of Nokia, Europe captured 51% of the value-added of the Nokia N95 smart phone, even when it was “Made in China,” because the final assembly (read: China) involved 2% of the overall value-added.

Obviously, the share of Chinese value-added differs by industries and companies, yet it tends be very low in the case of multinational companies operating in China, particularly in advanced technology. The same goes for such companies operating in India or other emerging markets. “Made in China” value-added does not go to China.

That's precisely why Beijing seeks China’s rapid transition from exports and investment toward innovation and consumption. After all, like Apple and Nokia, Chinese industry giants – from Huawei and Xiaomi to Oppo and Vivo – capture far more of the value-added. As Vice Premier Liu He has urged, China must innovate if it wants to be a world leader in science and technology.

US taxation fails Americans, not China

There is one critical difference, however. Through taxation, Nokia’s success benefited Finnish taxpayers and its European investors. Most EU multinationals are constrained by similar taxation rules. In contrast, Apple’s success does not necessarily accrue to American taxpayers because many US multinationals, unlike their European counterparts rely on creative tax accounting or tax havens. 

Theoretically, Apple should be the largest taxpayer in the world and pay $38 billion in taxes brought home from overseas and “create” 20,000 new jobs. But as Fortune has reported, that’s all spin. Instead, Apple plans to collect a huge windfall from the Republicans’ corporate tax handout. Currently it holds about $252 billion - more than 90% of its cash - in profits offshore, where it can avoid paying US taxes.

Indeed, before Trump’s tax code overhaul, Apple would have paid $79 billion in taxes if it had brought the money home. But it didn’t. Instead, it let the cash sit offshore for years. So its offshore profits will be taxed at a one-time, 15.5% repatriation rate. All other corporate profits will be taxed at 21% (down from the pre-Trump rate of 35%).

In the postwar era, the old adage was “What’s good for General Motors is good for America.” What Apple and many other US multinationals are doing today may not be illegal, but it is part of a broader problem associated with America’s decline.

Here’s the bottom line: Chinese share of 2%+ of the value-added pie is not the problem. Trump’s tariffs are a misguided solution to a wrong problem.

The real question is why US companies’ lucrative profits yield so few benefits to ordinary Americans but such great benefits to few and wealthy corporate insiders.

Dr Steinbock is the founder of the Difference Group and has served as the research director at the India, China, and America Institute (USA) and a visiting fellow at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (China) and the EU Center (Singapore). For more information, see http://www.differencegroup.net/

© 2018 Copyright Dan Steinbock - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Dan Steinbock Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in