Made in the U.S.A.: Is Apple Building Plants in America?

July 26, 2017 - 2 minutes read

The latest Apple rumor has come from an unusual source, one that has often appeared to be at odds with the tech giant and its values: President Donald J. Trump. If the president is to be believed (and with this president, there is always room for doubt), Apple CEO Tim Cook has promised to build three “big, big, big” manufacturing plants right here in America. Trump has chided the company in the past for its reliance on Chinese labor to make its products. iOS app developers may remember candidate Trump’s constant invocations of Apple and China in his stump speeches. He hasn’t let the subject go since becoming president.

He apparently told Cook, “Unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success.” Whether or not Cook was actually moved by the president’s words is still up in the air, but the company has made some promises to the American people over the last year or so. Back in May, Cook pledged to start a billion dollar fund to invest in advanced manufacturing companies. Apple recently put $200 million in Corning, a Kentucky-based supplier of the glass used in iPhones, and Foxconn, another critical supplier, is supposedly planning its first American plant. The company may do much of its manufacturing overseas, but iOS app developers can vouch that the world’s biggest company by market valuation definitely spends some coin in the States. It dropped $60 billion on its America-based suppliers last year — that’s not nothing.

But is Apple committed to building its own plants in the America? That question still remains to be answered. Its possible that the president is not distinguishing between the suppliers and factories actually owned by Apple. Chicago iOS app developers have likely noticed that the president loves appearances more than actual substance (anybody remember the Carrier plant from the earliest days of his presidency?). We’ll wait to see if Cook confirms these new plans or if this is just more hot air.

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