US President-elect Donald Trump wasn’t exactly an Apple fan during the course of his campaign, but he has spoken to Apple CEO Tim Cook since the results. Trump revealed this during the course of an interaction with the New York Times; the paper has put out a full transcript of the meeting with the President-elect.
When the Apple vs FBI fight was unfolding, Donald Trump had tweeted against the Cupertino giant and called for a boycott of their products. Incidentally he had called for the boycott using an Apple iPhone. He had also spoken during the campaign about how he would get Apple to make their ‘damned computers’ in the US, instead of China. But things between Apple and Donald Trump are not so bad anymore, and CEO Tim Cook has called on him as well.
“I got a call from Bill Gates, great call, we had a great conversation, I got a call from Tim Cook at Apple…” revealed Trump. According to the President elect, he told Apple CEO Tim Cook that he wants the company to build plants and products in the US.
Trump’s exact quote reads: “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.” Trump revealed that Tim Cook said he understands that, and the President-elect has also spoken about incentives in the form of a very large tax cut for corporations.
“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,” said Trump.
Of course for Apple to start manufacturing iPhones in US and not China will need more than just tax cuts. While reports claim that Apple is exploring the idea of manufacturing phones in the US, it won’t be so easy given that labour and the entire supply chain is now comfortably set in China and the South-East Asia region. For companies like Apple, China’s labour has the right skill set, and exporting all of that to the US can’t be done overnight or even in the next four years.
A recent report by Nikkei Asian review claims Apple asked both Foxconn and Pegatron to look into the possibility of making iPhones in US in June. While Foxconn complied, Pegatron declined due to cost concerns.