In an unusual turn of events, the President of the United States, Donald John Trump, has openly announced what might have been a secret plan of Apple Inc. POTUS revealed that the iPhone maker will open three manufacturing units in the United States.
Trump seems to have put Apple CEO Tim Cook in a pickle, forcing the company into a commitment that may or may not materialize. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Trump said this:
“I spoke to , he’s promised me three big plants — big, big, big. 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.”
Apple did not comment on the matter, but the company did commit to investing $1 billion in the U.S. towards promoting advanced manufacturing. One of the early beneficiaries is Corning Inc., which makes the Gorilla glass we see on iPhones and iPads. The company has received $200 million from Apple.
One of Apple’s key assembly partners, Taiwanese company Foxconn, has revealed its plans to open a factory in Wisconsin, but the 10,000-worker facility is only a tenth the size of its China operations.
Trump’s relationship with Apple hasn’t been smooth sailing, and it started way back before he became president. At the time, stolen emails that WikiLeaks obtained that Tim Cook was one of the people being considered for vice president under a possible Hillary Clinton presidency.
The president’s move to put Apple in a tight spot could be a tactical one to get the company to seriously consider its options. Since the Cupertino iPhone maker is yet to comment on the matter, that remains an assumption based on Trump’s actions.