Thanks to a series of emails obtained by The Verge, we know that Tim Cook worked personally to avoid Apple the taxes on Chinese imports. The emails were obtained at the request of the Freedom of Information Act.
The emails in question date back to last summer with US sales representative Robert Lighthizer and his office. Apple was seeking tax exemptions for various parts imported from China. This included some parts needed to assemble the new Mac Pro.
Cook staff remained in contact with Lighthizer after the meeting between the two, with at least one subsequent call taking place at 4:30 am on August 5. Much of the email exchange is written as sensitive business information, but it is very likely that the huge business impact that taxes would have had on Cupertino products has been discussed.
As we know, Apple later managed to negotiate tax exemptions with the Trump administration. Many requests from Apple have been accepted. Apple has also seen taxes on other devices such as iPhone, iPad, MacBook. And recently, the 15% tax on the Apple Watch has been removed.
Tim Cook's close involvement in these negotiations is not entirely surprising. Numerous reports have repeatedly pointed out Apple?s close relationship with President Donald Trump. Not to mention that the Trump administration also often turns to Cook for advice on certain economic issues.
So far, Apple has declined to comment on the matter, while the US sales rep has not responded to a request to comment on the matter.