Despite President Donald Trump saying in an interview that Apple would be putting up three factories in the United States for the domestic manufacture of its products, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant did not comment. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump said the promise came from Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive officer.
“I spoke to [Tim Cook], he’s promised me three big plants — big, big, big. I said, ‘You know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success’…” said Trump without specifying when the plants would be built or where they would be located.
Apple has for long endured scrutiny and attacks from Trump. During his campaign for the presidency, Trump criticized the tech giant’s policy of offshore manufacturing and even promised to force Apple to return manufacturing jobs back to the United States.
The reason that U.S. tech companies lack substantial domestic manufacturing facilities is because of the cost of labor which is significantly higher compared to other regions such as Southeast Asia. In the case of Apple, most of its products such as the iPhone are assembled in Taiwan and China.
Domestic manufacturing initiative
Since Trump was sworn in numerous developments have taken place with regards to domestic manufacturing by the iPhone maker. Two months ago, Apple revealed an investment of $200 million in Corning Inc, a maker of display screens for the iPhone. The money was taken out of a $1 billion fund that Apple had set up to assist in the development of advanced manufacturing in the United States.
One of Apple’s contract manufacturers, Foxconn Technology Group, had also indicated that it would be putting up a manufacturing facility in the United States. The facility is expected to manufacture screen displays and the investment by Foxconn will be worth over $10 billion.
During a shareholders meeting held earlier in the year, the largest public company in the world by market value reiterated its commitment to the creation of jobs domestically. The company’s chief executive officer revealed that Apple would allocate more than $50 billion to its domestic contract manufacturers.
Cook also pointed out that Apple was responsible for creating approximately two million employment opportunities in the United States and this included jobs in the manufacturing sector. Some of Apple’s contract manufacturers in the United States include a supplier based in Austin, Texas, who produces Mac Pro desktop computers for the iPhone maker.