Apple to build huge plants in US? | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 26.07.2017
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Apple to build huge plants in US?

Apple has promised to expand manufacturing in America with three new plants. At least that's what US President Donald Trump told the "Wall Street Journal." The tech company itself has not commented on it yet.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported US President Donald Trump said Apple had pledged to expand its activities at home with three new US plants.

"I spoke to [CEO Tim] Cook, he's promised me three big plants - big, big, big," Trump told the newspaper in an interview.

The president's interview was published after American tech giant Apple had come under fire from Trump during his campaign for making most of its products in China.

Apple said on Wednesday it would not comment on the WSJ interview. In Asia, the company benefits from a network that goes beyond subcontractors assembling smartphones, tablets and laptops. The firm relies heavily on a dense ecosystem of companies that make components and spare parts for its devices.

Analysts say it would be challenging to replicate that network with American workers without using more robotics, undermining the political aim of creating a lot of jobs in the US.

Moving iPhone manufacturing to the US would also likely push up costs which cannot be in Apple's interests.

Limited investments

What is true, though, is that CEO Tim Cook in May announced the creation of an Apple fund to get more people in the US do what he called "advanced manufacturing," kicking it off with $1 billion (860,000 euros).

Apple already has 80,000 employees in the US and plans to hire thousands more in the future, according to Cook.

Experts believe it's likely that Apple will make a symbolic move to appease Washington, such as investing more in Mac Pro computer production in the US and pumping money into a US-based facility for higher-priced, limited-edition devices such as an anniversary-edition iPhone to mark the handset's 10th birthday this year.

hg/tr (Reuters, AFP)

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