When Billionaires Meet: Foxconn’s Response to Trump’s All-American iPhone (Satire)
Foxconn yesterday confirmed the company was considering US investment, after Trump's talk to Apple chief Tim Cook earlier last month. Now, a satirical Bloomberg column imagines how Foxconn chairman Terry Gou would respond to Trump's plan of an All-American iPhone.
Who will pay for a made-in-America iPhone
After talking about the similarities between the two billionaires, and Gou getting inspired to run for office himself, the piece suggests how other countries previously have required Apple to make its products within the country to avoid import tariffs. The actual changes - to local employment and otherwise - were minimal.
I know that you've been telling your constituents that you're going to create a lot of jobs, so I want to give you some advice. First, you don't actually have to create any jobs, you just have to make people think you're going to create them. I am sure you're familiar with the concept.
When Apple told me to start making iPhones in Brazil to get around import tariffs, I made it happen. It didn’t create much employment, mind you, because I just exported pre-fabricated iPhones for the locals to slot together — kind of like Lego — but it got the job done. And by job, I mean kept Apple’s and Brazil’s leaders happy.
Gou then suggests that his company could do the same for the President-elect in the US, but it wouldn't necessarily create new jobs, but would definitely get Foxconn a number of benefits.
If you want iPhones to be made in America, I can make that happen, too. Heck, I can set up a production line in Trump Towers if you like, but the costs will be yuuuge. I have to cover my expenses, which include factories, labor and transport. You see, I don't manufacture in China just because it's cheaper, but because thousands of suppliers are there, within spitting distance of my factories and the one million people I employ during peak season.
Ending the piece, the satirical Gou talks about what actually happens in these government vs business deals and who actually gets to "pay;"
Bumping up your import tariffs won't change the equation much, but give me tax breaks, subsidies to hire workers, cheap electricity and free land, and I'm sure we can come to some arrangement. Let me know what numbers you want to Tweet, and I've got your back.
Foxconn is currently in talks with the US government to make a potential deal worth $7 billion, creating 50,000 new jobs. While the company didn't share any details, it certainly isn't stopping the creative minds from fancying the discussions. The satirical Gou is surely happy with this new opportunity of pushing "bureaucrats and politicians argue about whether they can afford" to have his services "or risk falling short on a campaign pledge."
"But just remember: Like that wall you're planning to build, somebody's going to have to pay. And it won't be me, let me tell you," fake Gou ends his letter to Trump.