Apple invests in Mitch McConnell

The first $200 million of Apple’s $1 billion advanced manufacturing fund went to a Corning factory in the majority leader’s home state.

From Saturday’s New York Times:

The investment is also a good-will gesture toward Republicans, including President Trump, who has criticized Apple for building its iPhones in China, and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who represents Kentucky…

Underscoring the political implications of the Apple-Corning deal, Mr. McConnell joined executives from the two companies at the formal announcement at the 65-year-old plant on Friday afternoon.

“Like millions of people around the world, the last thing I look at at night and the first thing I look at in the morning is my iPhone,” Mr. McConnell said. “Unlike millions of people around the world, I think of Harrodsburg, Ky., and this amazing Gorilla Glass that you guys make here.”


See also: Apple’s Tim Cook dumbs it down for Mad Money (video)

UPDATE: Friend-of-the-blog Dave Emery asks where else Corning makes glass.. This map shows facilities, not glass-making factories, but it suggests that there may be more than the one in Kentucky.


  1. Richard Wanderman said:

    Good on Corning. The Turtle can go hide in his shell (preferably jail).

    May 13, 2017
  2. David Emery said:

    sigh… Where else does Corning make glass these days? Why does everything have to have a political spin to it?

    May 13, 2017
    • David Drinkwater said:

      Respectfully (to demery) or not ( to flamebait), I want to take demery’s question to heart:

      I’m an Upstate New Yorker and a modern ceramist. I don’t see this as having ANYTHING to do with politics.

      It’s about Corning’s technological capabilities.

      May 15, 2017
  3. Alex Harris said:

    Any large investment will always be painted with a political spin by the politicians who represent the area in which the investment is made (and companies are not typically opposed to generating good will from such pols). However, the Harrodsburg factory may NOT have been chosen for political purposes. According to the Isaacson biography, Corning developed Gorilla Glass in 1960s, but had never found an application for it, so never produced it. In 2006, Steve Jobs invited Corning’s CEO to Cupertino and persuaded him to put Gorilla Glass into production in less than six months. Practically overnight, Corning retooled an existing factory in Harrodsburg, KY to produce Gorilla Glass on an expedited schedule for the original iPhone (this is a fascinating episode in the Jobs biography). So, Harrodsburg is the original Gorilla Glass factory. As for all those other facilities, Corning makes a lot of the fiber optics used in data networks all around the world.

    May 13, 2017
  4. Fred Stein said:

    Apple’s political intent may be broader, mainly to facilitate lowering taxes on overseas earnings. The big criticism has been based on the past where repatriated went to buybacks rather than new investments.
    Again, Apple wisely pre-sells the idea that they will become a bigger job creator with mare cash to invest here in the US. IMHO, the $2T plus overseas cash will grow the economy. Caveat: The income disparity and job skills disparity problem remains.

    May 13, 2017
  5. Robert Paul Leitao said:

    Most states have at least one Republican US Senator. The fact that Apple is investing $200 million in Corning has less to do with partisan politics and more to do with Apple needing advanced Gorilla Glass for future products.

    I suspect there’s a benefit to Apple from the deal such as volume guarantees, priority on orders and/or perhaps ideal pricing on future orders as Corning invests the dollars from Apple to fund Gorilla Glass development.

    According to Apple’s website, the company is responsible for over two million US jobs and each year spends over $50 billion with US suppliers. That’s an underlying story that doesn’t get much press and a story that’s important to any national debate on jobs, job creation and international trade.

    May 13, 2017
  6. Gianfranco Pedron said:

    “I suspect there’s a benefit to Apple …”

    Excellent point, Robert.

    I’m wondering how much of the investment would be for the development and purchase of proprietary manufacturing processes and tooling giving Apple exclusivity on any product developed and manufactured as a result of the funding.

    May 14, 2017

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