Tim Cook called Donald Trump, talked about making iPhones in the US with robots, reduced regulation
Donald Trump promises that America will become a land of factories once again. Sure, the factories will be full of robots, but the American worker will stand behind them.
In an expanded discussion with the publishing and editorial crew of The New York Times, the President-elect assuaged concerns that manufacturing jobs in the United States will be replaced by robotics and automation, saying that workers will “make the robots too.”
It’s a big thing, we’ll make the robots too. Right now we don’t make the robots. We don’t make anything. But we’re going to, I mean, look, robotics is becoming very big and we’re going to do that. We’re going to have more factories. We can’t lose 70,000 factories. Just can’t do it. We’re going to start making things.
One “thing” Trump hopes we’ll make? The iPhone.
Trump claimed to have received a call from Apple CEO Tim Cook and the two discussed how the company’s manufacturing could be moved out of east Asia and established domestically. Production line automation would definitely put Cook’s concerns about attracting a skilled workforce to its theoretical factories in the US to rest.
The President-elect would defray the costs to do so with corporate tax incentives and removing “regulations that anybody would agree are ridiculous.”
“I’ve seen all of the small business owners over the United States, and all of the big business owners, I’ve met so many people,” Trump said. “They are more excited about the regulation cut than about the tax cut.”
Philanthropist and former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates also called Trump.
We have no details into what regulations the long-time real estate developer would want to remove and most of them would have to go through Congress, albeit a friendly, Republican-led one. How invested Apple is in bringing iPhone assemblage and possibly even components manufacturing to the US, we can’t be sure of yet.
Another policy front that Trump is also interested in pursuing is a severe all-imports tax on China. Such a tariff would have the potential to greatly affect the costs of making an iPhone as well.