The sit-down between Cook and Trump is due to take place in the Oval Office at 1.45 p.m. Washington, D.C., time and will be closed to the press, according to an official schedule released by the White House. Details about what could be discussed during the meeting, which is scheduled to last 15 minutes, were not provided.
Cook may use the occasion to question the president about his role in escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Apple manufactures many of its devices in China and is eager to build its sales there, so the company is unlikely to be happy with the Trump administration’s decision to impose as much as $150 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods. The government’s protectionist measures risk damaging the iPhone makers efforts to boost its revenues in China, which remains a key concern among investors. (See also: Apple, Nike, Starbucks May Be Hit in Trade War)
Last month, at a conference in Beijing, Cook said he hoped the two countries could resolve their differences on trade, according to Bloomberg. “The countries that embrace openness do exceptional and the countries that don’t, don’t,” he said. “It’s not a matter of carving things up between sides. I’m going to encourage that calm heads prevail.”
Friends of Foes?
Cook previously met with Trump last June, alongside other technology CEOs, including Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN) Jeff Bezos and Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) Satya Nadella. According to CNBC, during that meeting Apple’s CEO told the president that technology employees were "nervous" about his administration's approach to immigration.
Despite being critical of Trump’s immigration stance, Cook was grateful for the president’s tax law. In addition to lowering the corporate tax rate, the bill enables companies to bring their cash back into the U.S. at a reduced tax rate. In response to the reforms, Apple promised to contribute $350 billion to the U.S. economy over the next five years, prompting Trump to call Cook a "a great guy" and personally call him to say thanks. (See also: Apple Gears Up to Spend All Its Cash.)