Apple CEO: Tariffs shouldn't affect iPhone

In an exclusive broadcast interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook tells Laurie Segall that's he's optimistic the US will avoid a trade war because it's a "lose-lose" situation.

Posted: Jun 5, 2018 11:15 AM
Updated: Jun 5, 2018 11:15 AM

America's leading CEOs are scaling back plans for hiring and spending because of President Trump's aggressive trade policy.

The Business Roundtable said on Tuesday that its CEO economic outlook index declined this quarter from a record high. It was the first drop in two years.

The powerful lobby, chaired by JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon, blamed the more cautious attitude on "increased uncertainty" about the direction of US trade policy.

Backing up his campaign promises, Trump has attacked existing trade relationships with China, Europe, Canada and Mexico. He has imposed tariffs on close allies and threatened tariffs on China, raising the specter of a costly trade war that would dent economic growth.

Sixty-three percent of CEOs polled last month by the Business Roundtable said it was a "serious" risk that foreign trade retaliation would hurt American exports. Another 32% called it a "moderate" risk.

"Trade policy is a large and growing concern affecting CEO decision-making and the economy as a whole," Joshua Bolten, CEO of the Business Roundtable and a former chief of staff to President George W. Bush, told reporters during a conference call.

CEOs dialed back their US hiring plans for the next six months by 13% and their business spending expectations by 4%. The outlook for sales also dimmed.

Related: Tim Cook isn't too worried about a trade war

The Business Roundtable said that unlike on other issues, Trump and his advisers have so far rejected their advice on trade.

"We hope they listen to us, but so far they have not," Dimon said. He said the White House is making a "mistake" by pushing certain changes to NAFTA, such as adding a sunset provision that would make the agreement expire after five years.

The JPMorgan CEO said the economic recovery from the Great Recession could last several more years, unless Trump's trade agenda causes serious problems.

"One of the flies in the ointment is this trade stuff," Dimon said. "It's not only directly affecting our decisions, but it's creating uncertainty."

The more careful tone from business leaders stands in contrast to their extreme optimism when Trump and other Republicans slashed the corporate tax rate and provided a huge break on foreign profits returned to the United States.

Although the tax plan has led to skyrocketing stock buybacks and one-time bonuses for millions of employees, economists see little evidence CEOs are accelerating job-creating investments in their companies.

The Business Roundtable's CEO outlook index remained strong, and above historical averages for the sixth straight quarter. But it dipped in the second quarter to 111.1 from a record high of 118.6 in the first three months of the year.

Related: Trade wars are scary. Why isn't Wall Street freaking out?

Worries about a trade war are on the rise.

Last week, Trump reversed talk of a truce with Beijing by resuming plans to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. The administration, citing national security concerns, also hit close allies Canada, Mexico and the European Union with steel and aluminum tariffs.

Eighty-nine percent of CEOs polled by the Business Roundtable worry that Trump's approach to trade will slow the economy. And 90% think his trade stance will lead to higher costs for US businesses. Many companies are already grappling with increased expenses.

"It doesn't help US jobs," Howard Schultz, the outgoing executive chairman of Starbucks, told CNN's Poppy Harlow last week.

"Every time that we have had a conflict of trade and there have been trade wars," Schultz said, "it has resulted in a downturn of the economy of the United States."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 486434

Reported Deaths: 6575
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1009131586
Ramsey43165803
Dakota36375392
Anoka33335388
Washington22121258
Stearns18752201
St. Louis14822263
Scott13308107
Wright12538116
Olmsted1181788
Sherburne874172
Carver775640
Clay692387
Rice670791
Blue Earth596635
Kandiyohi579674
Crow Wing521282
Chisago499545
Otter Tail483270
Benton447790
Winona418549
Mower405731
Douglas393368
Nobles387247
Goodhue386269
Polk343763
McLeod340049
Beltrami338651
Morrison324747
Itasca313646
Lyon313644
Becker312542
Isanti306756
Steele301511
Carlton300149
Freeborn282623
Pine282016
Nicollet259241
Todd248330
Brown245537
Le Sueur235720
Mille Lacs227947
Cass220424
Waseca209317
Meeker207434
Martin189928
Wabasha18673
Roseau180317
Hubbard160740
Houston157414
Dodge15294
Renville150340
Redwood147027
Fillmore13768
Chippewa136735
Pennington136316
Cottonwood135020
Wadena131020
Faribault123417
Aitkin119033
Watonwan11758
Sibley117310
Rock115914
Kanabec107519
Pipestone101624
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9488
Jackson93610
Swift87918
Pope8075
Marshall78015
Lake74218
Stevens7418
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68516
Wilkin67411
Koochiching61911
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5092
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned44568
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3075
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 335218

Reported Deaths: 5443
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk51785551
Linn19463313
Scott17080210
Black Hawk14924292
Woodbury13778212
Johnson1312174
Dubuque12416194
Dallas1019092
Pottawattamie9828143
Story959345
Warren511674
Clinton500784
Cerro Gordo498882
Webster494487
Sioux479169
Marshall463072
Des Moines427161
Muscatine424191
Buena Vista412237
Wapello4025108
Jasper386266
Plymouth367478
Lee354252
Marion339869
Jones284654
Henry279637
Bremer268754
Carroll266349
Crawford252235
Boone242830
Benton240354
Washington239047
Mahaska215246
Jackson209738
Dickinson202440
Tama202365
Kossuth198055
Delaware185540
Clay183825
Winneshiek182827
Fayette178635
Page177819
Buchanan176929
Wright173831
Hamilton173742
Cedar171523
Hardin169439
Harrison167169
Clayton159854
Butler158831
Mills147920
Floyd147741
Poweshiek147730
Lyon145541
Cherokee145336
Allamakee142347
Madison141918
Iowa139423
Hancock137630
Grundy132030
Winnebago130231
Calhoun129311
Cass128751
Jefferson128334
Appanoose123147
Louisa122341
Mitchell120440
Chickasaw119615
Union118731
Sac118318
Shelby116433
Emmet115040
Humboldt113525
Franklin109019
Guthrie108928
Palo Alto100921
Howard99021
Montgomery96736
Clarke94720
Keokuk92029
Monroe89428
Adair81028
Ida81032
Pocahontas80919
Davis76323
Monona76327
Greene72910
Lucas71421
Osceola68215
Worth6667
Taylor64112
Decatur5699
Fremont5599
Van Buren53718
Ringgold50520
Audubon4739
Wayne45821
Adams3184
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