Warmed Apple Trump?

“In fact, Apple has no plans to build a plant in the United States.” —NYT

From Silicon Valley Warms to Trump After a Chilly Start posted Friday on NYT.com.

After Apple took advantage of the new tax law in January to bring back most of the $252 billion cash hoard that it had parked overseas, the company said it would make a $350 billion “contribution to the U.S. economy” over the next five years. That prompted Mr. Trump to suggest he had made good on a campaign pledge to get Apple to bring jobs back to the United States.

“You know, for $350 million, you could build a beautiful plant. But for $350 billion, they’re going to build a lot of plants,” the president told members of Congress last month. Mr. Trump said he had called Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, to personally thank him.

In fact, Apple has no plans to build a plant in the United States. The company is uneasy with Mr. Trump’s invoking it to signify how his policies are working, according to a person close to Apple who was not authorized to speak publicly. Apple has not, however, publicly corrected the president.

My take: Between Washington, Cupertino and Beijing, something’s going on with Cook and Trump. The New York Times hasn’t got to the bottom of it. Neither have I.

See, for example, here: Something tells me Steve Mnuchin’s Cupertino stopover on his way to the G20 Summit in Argentina was more than just a courtesy call.


  1. Ken Cheng said:
    Building its own factory is not something Apple currently does, but it does support others to build factories.

    It’s like the app economy, Apple creates the tools for others to use. When the App Store first opened, Apple made one game, poker, which got great reviews. You’d think Apple would make more, but they didn’t. Instead they create opportunities for others. (Just don’t make your app something Apple might want to incorporate as a core feature!)

    Creating jobs, isn’t just about factory jobs, but data center jobs, engineering jobs, customer service jobs and retail jobs.

    Someday Apple might have a factory in the US, but I would think by that time, the work would be highly automated. Remember Apple’s first Mac factory, (was it in Fresno?), totally automated.

    I’ve always thought Trump’s tweets about 3 Apple factories is just his conflating data centers, Foxconn factories, and HQs.

    As for Mnuchin, it’s probably right that he may have stopped in to fish for some new news that Apple might be thinking about building something that Trump can take credit for. But Apple has already announced quite alot about their US investment plans.

    March 31, 2018
  2. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    Compared to the economic value created through product development, design and engineering, the economic value to an economy from assembling Apple products is absolutely minimal. The economic value created through the app economy is also of far greater value to the US economy than any activity that might be generated from locating an Apple product assembly plant in a domestic location.

    This fiscal year alone Apple will generate over one-quarter trillion dollars in revenue and billions in tax revenue at the federal, state and local levels. In addition, the company supports, directly and indirectly, in the range of one million US jobs.

    Any trade and foreign tax policies that adversely impact Apple adversely impact the US economy. It’s only prudent for federal officials to have a wide and open channel of communication with Tim Cook.

    March 31, 2018
  3. David Drinkwater said:
    Why are we overlooking the fact that Trump is a blow-hard and a commercial failure? There is correlation, but not causality between what Trump does and what Apple does.

    April 1, 2018
  4. David Emery said:
    NYT has not been a strongly reliable source of information/coverage on Apple, I think.

    April 1, 2018

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