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Trump takes on Google, Apple over China

Donald Trump. Source: AAP

US President Donald Trump has warned Google about its business in China while telling Apple it would not get a waiver on tariffs on parts made in China.

US President Donald Trump has kept up his pressure on global tech giant Google days after his Treasury secretary ruled out any national security concerns over the company's work in China.

Mr Trump, in a tweet on Friday, did not offer any evidence of a problem with Google's business in China but said if there were any issues, his administration would find out about it.

On Wednesday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he and Mr Trump had both had direct talks with Google's chief executive and were assured that the tech company's work with China was "very, very limited."

"The president and I did diligence on this issue, and we're not aware of any areas where Google working with the Chinese government in a way that in any way raises concerns," Mr Mnuchin told CNBC in an interview. "Google is an American company that wants to help out the US"

Mr Trump has repeatedly slammed US technology companies, including Google, and alleged without offering any evidence that they have discriminated against him and fellow conservatives.

He met with Google CEO Sundar Pichai at a White House meeting on Monday with a number of other top tech executives.

"There may or may not be National Security concerns with regard to Google and their relationship with China. If there is a problem, we will find out about it. I sincerely hope there is not!!!" Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump also on Friday said his administration would not grant Apple any relief for tariffs on Chinese-made parts for its Mac Pro computer.

"Apple will not be given Tariff waiver, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China. Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!" Mr Trump tweeted.

On 18 July, Apple asked the US Trade Representative's Office to waive 25 per cent tariffs on 15 parts, including ones for Mac Pro desktop computer. The public comment period for those requests closes on 1 August.

The parts include graphics processing modules, structural frames, power supply units, AC power cables, ladder assemblies, data cables and a wireless mouse line.

The Wall Street Journal reported in June that Apple is shifting manufacturing of its new Mac Pro desktop computer to China from Texas.

Apple noted after the report of the manufacturing shift that "like all of our products, the new Mac Pro is designed and engineered in California and includes components from several countries including the United States" and emphasised that "final assembly is only one part of the manufacturing process".

The Trump administration has denied numerous other tariff exclusion requests from major companies including General Motors for its Chinese-made Buick Envision, Tesla for components for its electric vehicles and Uber Technologies for electric bikes.

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