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Trump Says Apple's Tim Cook Has Promised Him He'd Build Three US Factories: 'Big, Big, Big' (cnbc.com) 187

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Apple CEO Tim Cook has committed to build three big manufacturing plants in the U.S., a surprising statement that would help fulfill his administration's economic goal of reviving American manufacturing. From a report: Apple CEO Tim Cook called Trump to share that the iPhone-maker would do more manufacturing domestically, Trump told WSJ. "I spoke to [Mr. Cook], he's promised me three big plants -- big, big, big," Trump was quoted as saying. Apple has already said that it would start a $1 billion fund to promote advanced manufacturing jobs in the United States. With its wide network of developers, Apple has already created two million jobs in the United States, according to Cook.
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Trump Says Apple's Tim Cook Has Promised Him He'd Build Three US Factories: 'Big, Big, Big'

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  • grain of salt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gravewax ( 4772409 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @03:29PM (#54877071)
    "Apple has already created two million jobs in the United States, according to Cook", and that just proves Cook is full of shit. If they are 3 plants like the 2 million jobs those plants will include the truck manufacturer that builds the trucks that deliver the phones to the stores, the ship builder that provides the transport from china and the building material manufacturers for their shiters.
    • by Goose In Orbit ( 199293 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @03:29PM (#54877081)

      ...and not one coal miner...

      • Re:grain of salt (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @03:39PM (#54877175)

        Well it was their fault making fun of the nerds in middle school.

        You piss me off, I automate your job away.

      • Re:grain of salt (Score:4, Informative)

        by GLMDesigns ( 2044134 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @03:51PM (#54877285)
        Does tech require steel? And how does one make steel? mmmm with coal.
        • Re:grain of salt (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Captain Splendid ( 673276 ) <capsplendid@NOsPAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @04:00PM (#54877377) Homepage Journal
          And how does one make steel?

          One does it in China, so that the environmental problems aren't yours to deal with.
        • 70% according to the coal lobby https://www.worldcoal.org/coal... [worldcoal.org]

          And even if you total "all other industrial" use of coal other than power, that's only 15% of the total coal being used in the US: https://www.eia.gov/totalenerg... [eia.gov]

          The other 85% was to produce 1/3 of US power, and that use is on the slide.

          If you lose the power production, it won't even be economically viable to mine the 15%, it would be cheaper to buy it in from China.

          • Coal is becoming less and less profitable to produce power thanks to natural gas (fracking).

            For the most part the only coal that we truly "need" for the foreseeable future is to make steel. .

            Coal mines are independent of each other - miner extracts coal from coal seams and sends it to the steel mill. Economy of scale matters matters less here. (I'm not in the industry so this is speculation.) .

            I think we all want to see the end of coal. We're seeing it disappear for general power generation the only
      • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @04:32PM (#54877603)

        ...and not one coal miner...

        That may change when Apple releases the iPhone 10 Steam Punk Edition, which will actually run on coal.

    • He's likely counting developers who are not employees, but who write code for iOS and MacOS/OSX/whichever-this-week.

      (That used to be a thing, but honestly, ever since carbon.h came out way back in the day, you could write an app with C++ at its core and something Qt-ish for the UI, then cross-compile the same code to Macs and 'doze with not much effort. Not really sure if something similar could be done between iOS/Android, but given that most apps are what, just glorified web frames...?)

    • Re:grain of salt (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @03:48PM (#54877261)

      All higher-profile entities make these sorts of claims. Large companies like Apple or Boeing or Walmart; sports franchises; even public universities like the one which employs me - they all claim that their presence in a local economy adds tens of thousands of ancillary jobs and introduces millions or billions of additional dollars into the local and/or regional economy. Usually when they do it, they're lobbying for tax breaks ("we'll build our new factory here if")... but it is also perfect fodder for politicians.

      In my local (Puget Sound) area: Given the number of Seattle-area jobs, direct or ancillary, which are claimed to be due to the mere presence of Boeing, Amazon, U of W, etc. - I guess we're each unknowingly working full time at four or five places and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. That's the only way the numbers could possibly work..

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        The government is in a position to enforce those claims by the simple expedient of secure by design rules. That design being all electronics in government must be produced in secured audited facilities to ensure security and sound requirement, that includes hardware and software. All required to be produced, where it can be inspected to ensure not trojan horses, either software or hardware. Those requirements can extend further into industry by mandating them for power generation.

        For security reasons it is

        • by gtall ( 79522 )

          War industrial complex? Let's to some figures, shall we: U.S. GDP is roughly $19 Trillion. The U.S. DoD bill is roughly $700 Billion. Of that, about 1/2 is personnel costs. About 1/4 is upkeep on physical plant, electricity, fuel, etc. That leaves, putting it generously, about $200 for your "war industrial complex"...out of a $19 Trillion dollar economy. Wow! That's some "war industrial complex" you have there in your head.

          • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

            GDP - gross domestic product, which is turnover and not profit. My mind boggles at the crazy idea that somehow you think taxes are paid on turnover rather than on profit. That is such war industrial complex thinking, just like demanding war spending by NATO the North American Territorial Occupation farce countries must be 2% of the nations GDP sounds so low doesn't. When you do the numbers and poke through a countries GDP to find out what the actually taxable profit was and how much actual tax was paid, all

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ... and sheltered billions in US dollars in off-shore accounts to avoid paying taxes.

      Whoo hoo!

    • Re:grain of salt (Score:4, Interesting)

      by supremebob ( 574732 ) <themejunky@@@geocities...com> on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @05:47PM (#54878041) Journal

      Unfortunately, most of the jobs that Apple actually "created" in the US recently are low paying retail and support jobs at their Apple Store locations. The number of new hardware and software Engineers that Apple hired are probably a small percentage of the real number.

      • Unfortunately, most of the jobs that Apple actually "created" in the US recently are low paying retail and support jobs at their Apple Store locations. The number of new hardware and software Engineers that Apple hired are probably a small percentage of the real number.

        You say this like it's a bad thing. Apple has its problems, but they do tend to pay measurably more than minimum wage. The non-engineers of the world need jobs as well, and "get a STEM degree" is unlikely to be a viable course of action for the overwhelming majority of them for no shortage of reasons. If Apple can provide gainful employment for those who don't have a master's degree in electrical engineering, and do so while keeping their customer satisfaction levels high and their profits up, then I fail t

    • Re:grain of salt (Score:4, Informative)

      by pointybits ( 818856 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @06:51PM (#54878385)
      This figure is itemised on the Apple site [apple.com]. Basically they're claiming every job that touches Apple in some way, e.g. the workers at Caterpillar that make the generators used in Apple's data centers. 1.5 million of them are "jobs created and supported by the App store", which is sourced from a report [progressivepolicy.org] that uses a really broad definition of an App Economy worker and includes support workers and "spillover" jobs.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Strange, the report doesn't mention the millions of Apple internet shill jobs... Maybe they count as volunteers.

    • "Apple has already created two million jobs in the United States, according to Cook", and that just proves Cook is full of shit.

      No, it proves that Trump is full of shit. This came from Trump, not Cook. We have to see what Cook actually said, not what Trump said he said, before we can comment on it.

      • The reply right above yours, posted 47 minutes before yours, has a link to the Apple site where they claim to have created 2 million jobs. This isn't a Trump number, it's an Apple number. It looks like they are counting the employees of any company that makes an IOS app as a job they created.

      • Whenever Trump uses any superlative, he's essentially lying about it. "We're going to make the best golf course in the world" (or similar - can't be arsed to look it up) - not true.

        "Working on major Trade Deal with the United Kingdom. Could be very big & exciting. JOBS! The E.U. is very protectionist with the U.S. STOP!" - means "working on a small deal, which will probably fuck over as many people as it helps"

        "A big, beautiful wall" - well, I think we know how that one is going ;-)

        Trump-slagging aside,

    • by torkus ( 1133985 )

      I'm pretty sure he's talking about all the developers selling apps (or freemium apps) in the app store.

      With that said, Apple does have a large footprint. Shipping 100m iphones isn't something trucking wave off. Sourcing parts for said devices is a non-trivial task involving many people. Selling, supporting, etc. said devices, again, involves a lot of people. Add in the 3rd party repair shops, people selling related services, etc. and you DO have quite a few people

      I'd say most of those 2m jobs are still

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @03:30PM (#54877091)

    All these plants would be in 100% automated in States and Cities where they will be Tax exempt, which will be making B2B products so there is no sales tax.

    • Yes there will be a high degree of automation. Even so there will be some jobs. Some dealing with phones, some dealing with the robots. But the equally important part is that a pile of money will stay in the US and contribute to domestic activity, not over seas activity.
      • by aitikin ( 909209 )

        But the equally important part is that a pile of money will stay in the US and contribute to domestic activity, not over seas activity.

        Who do you think you're talking about? Apple has over $250 billion in cash [cnbc.com] that they have pretty much purely horded. What makes you think they're going to suddenly start spending that money?

        Yes there will be a high degree of automation. Even so there will be some jobs. Some dealing with phones, some dealing with the robots.

        Yeah...that's not much in the way of employment and none of them are really manufacturing jobs which are what were promised. Hell, dealing with the robots hardly even qualifies as a blue collar type job as it's presumably far more tech oriented. And that assumes Apple doesn't outsource that aspect of their factory to

        • But the equally important part is that a pile of money will stay in the US and contribute to domestic activity, not over seas activity.

          Who do you think you're talking about? Apple has over $250 billion in cash [cnbc.com] that they have pretty much purely horded. What makes you think they're going to suddenly start spending that money?

          I'm not referring to that money. I'm referring to the money that would otherwise be spent on overseas manufacturing and overseas shipping. In other words I'm pointing out that it makes an economic difference where activity takes places, domestically or overseas.

          Yes there will be a high degree of automation. Even so there will be some jobs. Some dealing with phones, some dealing with the robots.

          Yeah...that's not much in the way of employment and none of them are really manufacturing jobs which are what were promised.

          Not all jobs at a manufacturing plant are assembly, fabrication, etc; even back in the day. My grandfather "boiled the water" for the steam turbines that generated the electricity for the manufacturing plant. It was still a manufacturing job. People,

      • If you have a clue what a phone factory looks like you understand that these will not appear in US. Apple might build something else in US, but not phones. You can't get people in developed countries to work in these types of factories. In a developed country, its better to be unemployed than to do work like that. I would rather live under a bridge than waste my life sitting by a manufacturing line repeating the same damn motion year after year. And phone manufacturing is a hard thing to automate, you can a
        • If you have a clue what a phone factory looks like you understand that these will not appear in US. Apple might build something else in US, but not phones.

          Actually I'm quite familiar with Apple's FoxConn factories. And no, Apple will not be replicating that approach in the US. In case you missed the previous comments in this thread and the subject line, any manufacturing Apple does in the US will likely be highly automated. What little they currently do in the US with respect to the Mac Pro (small production runs, high priced) is not likely to be an approach replicated in these new factories. Also keep in mind that these factories are *not* going to be supply

    • B2B

      'Big to Big'?

  • by Arkham ( 10779 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @03:34PM (#54877123)
    Trump is a fucking liar, so nothing he says can be taken as having anything to do with the truth.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah of course, take everything he says with a grain of salt. More likely Cook said they would look into it, and Trump heard whatever he wanted to hear.

      The other option is this is a setup so when it doesn't happen he has a new person to bash once he's done flogging Jeff Sessions.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        He really meant azaleas. Those things can get huge!

      • Apple already planned to start manufacturing more in the U.S. Like many other companies that are pulling out of China, it most likely had to do with the increase in automation. Cheap Chinese labor isn't worth so much when you mainly employ robots. Not to mention the Chinese economy has matured and their currency is worth more than it used to, so that benefit is diminished as well.

        Furthermore, U.S. manufacturing is good PR, automated or not. Telling our doofus of a president about it is also a free way to ge

      • I seem to recal some articles about Apple having had (speculative?) plans to create some kind of (highly automated) domestic factory since well before the election, so maybe President Trump didn't talk to Cook and simply was briefed on that? or read an article on that?

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      While your comment is true, that's not to say that corporations don't make fraudulent promises when angling for a tax or legal break. I can't tell which one is lying.

    • Maybe Apple is going to get into the t-shirt business so Trump can fill the shops in his golf courses and hotels with stuff made in the USA instead of China.

      The shirts will come in
      Trump hands, small, regular , big, bigly, biglier, and bigliest
  • Will all be filled by H1B Visa holders.
  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @03:39PM (#54877161) Homepage

    Saying that you're going to make a "big" factory doesn't mean anything as it will be years of site selection, environmental impact reports, etc.

    If Mr. Cook wanted Apple to show that they cared about the countries they do business in as well as make an immediate impact, they would stop offshoring their profits and pay taxes on them in the country they made the money.

    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @03:47PM (#54877249) Journal

      Not to mention that the factory will be heavily automated, meaning the number of jobs that it actually provides will be relatively insignificant. Trump made a lot of promises to blue collar workers that the march of technology render unkeepable. Even if somehow magically coal recovers, the number of people employed would be a fraction of the number employed a quarter century ago, and of course, coal isn't coming back, so it's really an academic question.

      It would be nice if a political candidate would go to a town hall meeting in the Rust Belt or in coal country and say "Look, I sympathize with you, and the loss of your jobs to other countries is a sad, but inevitable consequence of the changes of manufacturing that have occurred over the last thirty years. The fact is that even if new factories/mines are built tomorrow, the overwhelming majority of you will not be rehired, and it is likely that many of you who are currently employed will lose your jobs, or, at best, will retire and those positions deemed redundant. It's time to move on from a 20th century economy, and I commit to bringing economic development into your region, into job retraining, and making your lives more affordable."

      But no, all these regions get is a lot of blowhards shouting how somehow they have the magic power to turn back time (and it isn't just the Republicans).

      • Ugh, UI fail. This is definitely not Redundant.

        Here's a symbolic +1 Insightful.
      • by imgod2u ( 812837 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @04:44PM (#54877703) Homepage

        "So for example, I'm the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country. Because we're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right?

        And we're going to make it clear that we don't want to forget those people. Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories.

        Now we've got to move away from coal and all the other fossil fuels, but I don't want to move away from the people who did the best they could to produce the energy that we relied on."

        We had one. She lost.

    • by Areyoukiddingme ( 1289470 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @04:40PM (#54877659)

      If Mr. Cook wanted Apple to show that they cared about the countries they do business in as well as make an immediate impact, they would stop offshoring their profits and pay taxes on them in the country they made the money.

      This is Apple playing Trump. "Let us repatriate our hoarded cash for 0.01% tax and we'll build three factories in the US. Big big big! Pinky swear!" They get their money back into the States, having successfully robbed the US taxpayer, then drag their feet on the factories for three years until Trump is out of office, whereupon they shitcan the project. And Trump won't even notice, because Fox and Friends won't report it.

    • by galabar ( 518411 )
      We could lower corporate taxes so that they don't feel the need to keep their money out of the US.
  • 2 million jobs? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Right Timmy, time to go back to school and learn some basic number crunching.

    These plants, after construction and a temporary surge of a few 100 jobs during said construction, will employ maybe a couple dozen people across all their plants.

    GO TRUMP!!!! Clueless idiot

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Thought so.

    Same lie, different day. Nothing to see here. Move along

  • $20,000 surface hub. Should have been profitable. Sales were enourmous. Hundres(s) of jobs lost. Likely went to china.

    Lack of Manufacturing in the US has more to do with workers wanting 8 hour days, lots of time off, and high pay. Nothing wrong with that, just hard to compete when they can get cushy office jobs at the same pay. Immigrants can do it, as they do with meat packing, but when hire immigrants here when you can hire them cheaper at home? Which is why Trump makes so much stuff in Mexico.

  • how long until people start throwing themselves off the roof? ;)

    • If the factories are made by Apple, then the buildings will have tractor beams to catch the falling workers.
  • Trump is a child (Score:5, Informative)

    by linuxguy ( 98493 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @03:54PM (#54877321) Homepage

    Everything good. He deserves the credit. Everything bad. Obama's fault.

    "big big big"

    • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @04:06PM (#54877399) Homepage

      What I love is how in every shot I've seen of him either walking to or from a helicopter, he claps his hands together as if his (not very) inner toddler is going "Yaaay, hewicoptah!"

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget Hillary. All politics aside, the "man" is just an overgrown man-child, who throws tantrums whenever he doesn't get his way, constantly whines about how unfair everything is, and is so convinced that he's a "winner" who succeeds at everything he does, nothing that goes wrong is ever his fault. It's either some mess he inherited from Obama, or Hillary is the real criminal everyone should be looking at, or the Republicans in Congress who are not doing enough. Whatever it is, there's always some ki

    • He loves to show how he's "got all the best words". "What words should I use to say it isn't just big?". Oh, I know, stack 3 "bigs" ... That's our Sex Offender in Chief!
    • Pretty sure it's Bush's fault. Worked for Obama, didn't it?

      • by linuxguy ( 98493 )

        "Pretty sure it's Bush's fault. Worked for Obama, didn't it?"

        Do you remember Obama constantly acting like a vindictive child?

        Me neither.

        • Do you remember Obama constantly acting like a vindictive child?

          Me neither.

          Well, coming from Trump country, I can tell you that the people there think that is because Obama was just putting up a fake front of a con man. Trump however is just telling it how it is because that's what they would want to say. Read into that what you will.

      • Actually, it is Reagan's fault. His economic policies were so massively destructive that the US lost the lead in many areas. Trump employing the same approach makes it only worse.
  • Trump has a way of jumping to conclusions, saying things out of context and lying. I'll be a lot more convinced this is happening when Apple says it is. They have economic incentive to build their heavier products here in the US like the Mac Pro and CTO iMacs. How many more heavy products that can and will build in the US, that remains to be seen.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    To say that he has a... "casual acquaintance with truth and reality" is an understatement.

    If that gang of sociopaths tell you it's July and the sky is blue, begin to doubt the existence of seasons and colors.

    • To say that he has a... "casual acquaintance with truth and reality" is an understatement.

      If that gang of sociopaths tell you it's July and the sky is blue, begin to doubt the existence of seasons and colors.

      You can say that again. [politifact.com]

  • So Trump's supporters think this is keeping his promise? Most of these factories will be heavily automated. The 'manufacturing' jobs are not going to go to struggling Joe-Blow the former coal miner, or laid off steel worker. They are highly technical jobs requiring education and training none of these guys possess. More often than not this will likely go to even more H1B visa holders, rather than the folks who are holding Trump up like some kind of champion to the common working man. Maybe we get a few
    • The uneducated get added to the White House science staff or get a cushy job as Republican Senator. Having inherited rich like Trump does help.
  • Caveat Emptor (Score:2, Insightful)

    Look, the guy has a track record of lying. Like 90-95 percent of the time.

    Best case scenario is 1/20th the jobs show up and 2/3 of the plants are in Mexico and Canada, and the American plant is actually located in a US Possession or Protectorate but not actually in the US itself.

  • I assume Tim Cook refers to 2 million developers of third party apps? How many of them can pay the bills with that?
  • ....that he is holding it wrong? US factories? That would cut into the piggish profit margin! Aside from that, Trump should make his clothing stuff in US factories first rather than rely on Chinese sweat shops....yes, yes, I know, he has no longer a say in Trump Enterprises *cough*
  • A couple of Aspidistras and a lovely Bamboo.

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