Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook announced today that the company is pledging $1 billion to a fund to help create advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S.
In an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, Cook said that Apple will reveal later this year the first investments in the fund, but did not give any details as to the exact nature of the fund. “How can we get more people to do advanced manufacturing in the United States?” Cook (pictured) asked, explaining that Apple had already talked to a company it will invest in.
“We can be a ripple in the pond,” said Cook, whose announcement has largely been seen as an effort to placate President Donald Trump and his promise to the American people to bring jobs back home. “If we can create many manufacturing jobs around, those manufacturing jobs create more jobs around them because you have a service industry that builds up around them,” said Cook.
In 2016 during a speech at Liberty University in Virginia, Trump had said that if he were to become President one of his mandates would be to force hardware companies to start making their products in the U.S. One of those companies was Apple. “We’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries,” Trump vowed.
The chances of that happening have always been seen as extremely slim, and Apple’s Chinese manufacturing plants will be going nowhere soon. In 2017 reports did emerge, however, relating to Apple bringing iPhone production back to the U.S. The company already has released “Made in the USA” Mac Pro computers, assembled in Texas, but nothing on the scale of its Chinese manufacturing.
On its website, Apple says it is “one of the biggest job creators in the United States,” responsible for the creation of 2 million jobs. Cook says Apple’s responsibility is to create more jobs, telling CNBC, “People should have values, so by extension, a company should. And one of the things you do is give back.”
Cook also told CNBC that tax breaks should be given to companies when bringing cash from overseas back to the U.S. “To invest in the U.S. we have to borrow,” said Cook. Apple is said to have about $256.8 billion cash on hand, with 93 percent of that held overseas.