Trump Says Apple Wants to ‘Do Something Major’ to Build iPhones in the US

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Jan 18, 2017
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President-elect Donald Trump said this Tuesday that he recently spoke with Tim Cook about moving overseas production to the United States. Just days before his taking the Office, Trump believes that Apple is taking some major steps to bring production back home.

Trump: Cook has his ‘eyes open’ to move production to the US

Local production was a key campaign promise and since his election win, Trump has reiterated this focus on making major tech and auto companies bring overseas manufacturing facilities back home. While President-elect had a rocky start with tech companies as he called for a boycott of Apple while on the campaign trail, he has since been talking to the industry leaders, including Apple’s Tim Cook and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

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In an interview with Axios, he was quoted saying:

His take on Apple and making the iPhone in the U.S., a campaign trail staple: Trump claimed Tim Cook has his “eyes open to it” and that Cook “really believe he loves this country and I think he’d like to do something major here.

Cook along with several other tech leaders met with Trump in his glitzy Manhattan Tower last month. While the details of the meeting remain a secret, it was said that the President-elect held private meetings with Cook and Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX chief.

Trump has sometimes mistakenly taken credit for announcements about auto companies’ investments in the US-based plants that have nothing to do with him. But, Apple’s efforts of bringing some assembling units to the US are very likely a result of his election win.

Tim Cook in an internal email to staff had said that the company cannot afford to sit on the sidelines – a possible reason why the Cupertino tech giant announced to invest $1 billion in the SoftBank Vision Fund and is in talks with its Asian partners to move production to the US. As analysts have said, these shifts are less likely to bring any major jobs as both Foxconn and Pegatron are investing heavily in automation due to the increased costs of local labor, but an “All-American” tag (although, almost impossible) will definitely look cool enough for the upcoming President to brag about.

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Whatever the number of jobs that increase as a result of these production shifts, Trump is definitely trying to create a more tax-lenient environment for the tech companies, as he promised Cook some very large tax cuts. In his meeting with tech leaders, he had asked them to call him directly if they need anything, because “we have no formal chain of command around here.”

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