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Apple shares drop after Trump says US 'doesn't need China'

The president says US companies should start looking for an alternative.

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Trump's tweets on Friday have refreshed fears of a trade war. 

Jim Watson/Getty Images

In a series of tweets on Friday, President Donald Trump said US companies should "immediately start looking for an alternative to China." The message appears to have hit tech stocks hard, with shares in Apple and several US chipmakers dropping.

Shares of Apple fell about 4.1%, CNBC reported Friday. Qualcomm chips declined 2.7%, while Nvidia lost 4.8%, and Advanced Micro Devices fell 5.1%.

"Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing ... your companies HOME and making your products in the USA," Trump tweeted. 

He also said he would order all delivery companies, including Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS and the US Post Office, to search for and refuse all deliveries of Fentanyl from China.

This certainly isn't the first time Trump has called on American companies, including Apple, to manufacture their products in the US. "We're going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries," Trump said in a 2016 speech at Liberty University in Virginia.

While Apple designs its products, the company relies on Chinese manufacturers to assemble the iPhones, iPads and other devices. Earlier this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook met with Trump to discuss new tariffs set to come into effect Sept. 1. Cook reportedly told the president that escalating trade war with China will make it harder for Apple to compete with Samsung

A new round of tariffs on Chinese imports is set to go into effect Sept. 1, raising prices on some electronics by 10%. That, according to Reuters, may include Apple's popular AirPods and Apple Watch. Apple's most lucrative products, like MacBooksiPads and iPhones, would be spared, but these may be included in a new set of tariffs to be introduced on Dec. 15.

If Apple phones and other products were assembled in the US, they'd likely be significantly more expensive

Apple and the White House didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Qualcomm, Nvidia and AMD also didn't respond to requests for comment. 

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