Did Donald Trump convince Tim Cook to bring Apple manufacturing here in the States?
Since 2000, the United States has lost 5 million manufacturing jobs. Donald Trump claims trade with China and Mexico is destroying the middle class. He also promised to bring back manufacturing jobs here in the United States. Now, in an interview with The New York Times, president-elect Donald Trump says he spoke with Tim Cook to build Apple products here in the United States.
So, how did that go?
“I was honored yesterday, I got a call from Bill Gates, great call, we had a great conversation, I got a call from Tim Cook at Apple, and I said, ‘Tim, you know one of the things that will be a real achievement for me is when I get Apple to build a big plant in the United States, or many big plants in the United States, where instead of going to China, and going to Vietnam, and going to the places that you go to, you’re making your product right here.’
He said, ‘I understand that.’ I said: ‘I think we’ll create the incentives for you, and I think you’re going to do it. We’re going for a very large tax cut for corporations, which you’ll be happy about.’ But we’re going for big tax cuts, we have to get rid of regulations, regulations are making it impossible. Whether you’re liberal or conservative, I mean I could sit down and show you regulations that anybody would agree are ridiculous. It’s gotten to be a free-for-all. And companies can’t, they can’t even start up, they can’t expand, they’re choking.”
In the interview, Trump mentioned that his plan includes “a very large tax cut for [American] corporations.” He’ll also “get rid of” regulations, since “regulations are making it impossible.”
But what if American factories and manufacturers decide to build robots instead of hiring people? Not a problem, according to Donald Trump.
“It’s a big thing, we’ll make the robots too. Right now we don’t make the robots. We don’t make anything. But we’re going to, I mean, look, robotics is becoming very big and we’re going to do that. We’re going to have more factories. We can’t lose 70,000 factories. Just can’t do it. We’re going to start making things.”
The interview left unclear whether or not Tim Cook has plans to build a factory and manufacturer here in the States. Despite his intentions, Donald Trump cannot force Apple nor Tim Cook to manufacture the iPhone in the United States. But a combination of severe tariffs and tax incentives might do the trick.
Whether the US has the factory infrastructure and willing workforce is another question entirely. Keeping the price of an iPhone uner $1,500 may also represent a serious challenge for a ‘US-based’ Apple.