Ford has already announced it will eventually stop selling all passenger cars in the USA except the Mustang, in favor of meeting Americans' appetite for large - and profitable - trucks and SUVs. This meant that the likes of the Focus hatchback and the Fusion, Fiesta and the larger Taurus sedan would be cut from the lineup to be replaced by crossovers and SUVs across the board.
Traders were bracing for a potential escalation in the Sino-U.S. row after President Donald Trump raised the stakes on Friday, saying he is ready to impose tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports to the United States.
"It is hard to see how tariffs that hurt USA companies and US consumers will advance the government's objectives with respect to China's technology policies", Apple said in the September 5 letter.
But in a statement, Ford said it would "not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the US", given forecast yearly sales below 50,000.
Mobile phones, the biggest USA import from China, have so far been unaffected but would be engulfed if Mr Trump activates the $267bn tariff list.
Auto industry analyst Ed Kim told the Guardian that Trump's tariffs have, effectively, ruined Ford's plan for the Focus. "Start building new plants now", Trump tweeted.
The automaker decided a couple years back to shift production of the Focus to Mexico, then last year it opted for China instead. "No one knows how deep the well is", he said.
But Ford had originally planned to bring the small crossover vehicle to the USA market beginning in late 2019.
Cook met with Trump last month, and complimented Apple's CEO for "investing big dollars in U.S.A".
Trump, who is challenging China, Mexico, Canada and the European Union on trade issues, has also expressed displeasure about the large USA trade deficit with Japan. As pointed out in the Detroit Free Press, China's import tax for World Trade Organization members like the United States was 15 percent, since raised to 40 percent.
The world's two biggest economies are clashing over US allegations that China deploys predatory tactics - including outright cybertheft - to acquire technology from USA companies and challenge American technological dominance.