U.S. president-elect Donald Trump is trying to get Apple to make its products in the United States instead of other countries.
Most of Apple's current manufacturing partners operate in countries such as China and Vietnam, but Trump wants to incentivize the company to build at least one plant in the United States and make its products locally.
In an interview with The New York Times, Trump said that both Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and Apple CEO Tim Cook called him after winning the election. Trump explained to Cook that he would consider it a "real achievement" if he could convince Apple to make devices in the United States instead of other countries and Cook reportedly acknowledged the suggestion by saying that he understands.
Trump told the CEO that Apple could build a big plant in the Unites States, or several big plants, and make its devices right there, and that could be doable with the right incentives.
Tax And Regulation Cuts
The recently-elected president further noted that he's optimistic that Apple will take him up on his offer based on the incentives he has in mind, which would include "substantial regulation cuts" and a "very large tax cut."
"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,'" Trump told the NYT, recalling his talk with Cook.
Big tax cuts, however, are currently impossible due to regulations, therefore those regulations have to go. He added that regulations have become "ridiculous" and companies find it hard to start things up and expand.
Apple Reportedly Interested In iPhones Made In USA
Just recently, a report revealed that Apple has already asked Foxconn, one of its manufacturing partners, to look into the possibility of shifting iPhone production to the United States. However, Foxconn chairman Terry Gou was reportedly not so excited with this idea, as it would lead to arguably higher production costs.
Getting Apple to move its production to the United States has been an important thing in Trump's agenda for a while now. Earlier this year, as MacRumors points out, Trump said Apple will be persuaded to build its "damn computers and things" in the United States instead of other countries. At that point, Trump also threatened to slap a 45 percent tax on products imported from China.
Cook, for his part, has previously argued that Apple makes iPhones in China because the country placed a huge focus on manufacturing, whereas the United States has a smaller workforce vocationally skilled for what it needs.
At the same time, Apple is also paying lower wages in China compared to what it would have to pay in the United States. The company also collaborates with partners in Asia, Japan and South Korea for device manufacturing.
Tim Cook supported Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential election, although Apple as a company supported both presidential nominees. Nevertheless, when Trump won the race, Cook sent a memo to Apple employees urging them to "move forward together" despite the uncertainties they may face in the future.
It remains to be seen whether moving forward will mean accepting Trump's proposition and start building manufacturing plants to move its device production to the United States, but the incentives Trump mentioned could do the trick.