Tim Cook told Trump China tariffs were the wrong move

In a new interview with Bloomberg television, Apple CEO Tim Cook says he addressed China trade tariffs in a late-April meeting with President Trump.

“I talked about trade and the importance of trade, and how I felt that two countries trading together make the pie larger,” Cook said, adding that while there are existing problems with U.S./China trade policies, Trump’s approach is not the right way forward. “I felt that tariffs were not the right approach there, and I showed him some more analytical kinds of things to demonstrate why.”

The tariffs are largely regarded as one key element in a looming trade war between the two superpowers. Apple, for its part, could easily get caught in the crossfire, as the company relies on China as a key to its international sales.

Apple has been hit with declining sales in the country, along with other top smartphone vendors, but its 41 retail stores in China are the most in a single region outside the U.S. It’s easy to see how the company could get caught in the midst of an escalating war trade war between the countries.

Of course, Trump does appear to have made some concessions in an unexpected area. Over the weekend, he announced plans to give ZTE a reprieve on its seven-year U.S. trade ban, after the company violated Iran sanctions. Trump cited, of all things, a loss of jobs in China as a key reason behind the reversal.

For his part, Cook is very much behind corporate tax cuts, which have been benefited Apple.“We’re also going to buy some of our stock because we view our stock as a good value,” Cook said in the interview “It’s good for the economy as well because if people sell stock they pay taxes on their gains.”