President Donald Trump sat down with the Wall Street Journal for a recent interview, and the conversation contains some surprising news, if accurate. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Trump says, has “promised” three “big big big” U.S.-based plants for the company, adding that the factories will also be “beautiful.”
The comment comes roughly a month after Trump met with leaders from U.S. technology companies — including Apple. In that meeting, Tim Cook called for coding to become a standardized part of school curriculum, but did not discuss manufacturing.
According to the Journal, Trump mentioned the factories during a later conversation about tax reform and investments for businesses. “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.”
One interesting and obvious point to take note of in the WSJ story is that Apple currently does not do a lot of its own manufacturing:
Building three manufacturing plants would be unprecedented for Apple as it only has one plant of its own currently in Cork, Ireland, where it has operated since 1980 and benefits from lower taxes on overseas profits. Apple instead primarily relies on contract manufacturers such as Foxconn, Pegatron Corp. , Wistron Corp. and others to make iPhones, iPads and Macs.
Of course, if anyone can make a factory beautiful, undoubtedly Apple is the right choice, but no plans for any U.S. factories have yet been announced.
A spokesperson for Apple declined to comment on this story.