Apple is planning to build three “big, big, big” manufacturing plants in the United States, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly told U.S. President Donald Trump. The news was shared by Trump in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
Cook is said to have promised to build “three big plants, beautiful plants,” but little additional information is available. What those plants will manufacture is unclear, as is their potential location.
“I spoke to [Mr. Cook], he’s promised me three big plants–big, big, big,” Mr. Trump said as part of a discussion about business-tax reform and business investment. “I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success. He called me, and he said they are going forward.”
Apple representatives declined to provide clarification on Trump’s statement.
Apple has been investigating manufacturing in the United States since Trump said “we’re going to get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of other countries,” during a campaign speech at Virginia’s Liberty University in 2016. At the time, Trump threatened to introduce a 45 percent tax on products imported from China.
Following pressure from Trump, Apple reportedly asked its suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron to look into making iPhones in the United States.
While Pegatron declined, Foxconn is planning to build a TFT-LCD factory in the United States, with the latest rumors suggesting the company is considering Wisconsin as the state where the facility will be built.
Apple CEO Tim Cook previously explained that iPhones are manufactured in China because of the skill of the workforce. “China put an enormous focus on manufacturing,” he said. “The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many vocational kind of skills. I mean, you can take every tool and die maker in the United States and probably put them in a room that we’re currently sitting in. In China, you would have to have multiple football fields.”
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