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No, Apple does not open a new manufacturing plant in Texas



  Donald Trump speaks at the Mac Pro production facility in Austin, Texas.
Click to enlarge / Donald Trump speaks at a Mac Pro production facility in Austin, Texas.

MANDEL NGAN / Getty [19659004] President Donald Trump visited the Apple Pro Mac production facility in Austin, Texas, with CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday.

"We see the beginning of a very powerful and important plant," Trump said during the visit. "I want to see Apple build factories in the United States. It's happening."

Trump voiced this topic in a tweet after the tour. "Today I opened a large Apple manufacturing plant in Texas that will bring high-paying jobs back to America," he writes.

Trump neglects to mention a few key facts about the facility. First, it is technically owned by the Apple Flex contractor, not Apple itself. More importantly, it's not new. Apple builds Mac Pro at the same location since 2013.

Apple opens a new facility in Austin – a 3 million-square-foot office complex where Apple says its employees will perform various functions, including "engineering , R&D, operations, finance, sales and customer support. " In remarks at the Mac Pro plant on Wednesday, Cook announced it is a $ 1 billion investment that will create Apple's second-largest site after Apple's home base in Cupertino.

But this new facility is not a manufacturing plant. This will create some high-paying jobs, but they will mostly be white-collar jobs in areas such as engineering, finance and sales.

Tariff relief helped Apple stay in the US

Apple's decision to suspend Mac Pro production in the US follows controversial negotiations with the Trump administration. Back in June, the Wall Street Journal story suggested that Apple was preparing to move its Mac Pro to China.

The story of Journal includes remarks from an Apple spokesman who has no dispute about moving to China. Instead, the spokesman emphasized that "final assembly is only one part of the manufacturing process."

Behind the scenes, Apple was looking for tariff rebates that would make installation of Mac Pro in the United States more affordable. Several key components of the Mac Pro have been made in China and Apple would have borne tariffs if it sent these parts to the US for assembly.

Donald Trump took a firm line on the matter in a July tweet. "Apple will not receive a tariff waiver or relief for parts of Mac Pro that are manufactured in China," he wrote. "Make them in the US without tariffs!"

But then in September, Apple announced that it would eventually continue to make the Mac Pro in Austin – and the company credits the Trump administration for the change.

"The production of Mac Pro in the US is possible after excluding federal products that Apple receives for some necessary components," Apple wrote in its September release. Despite Trump's threats, the administration provided him with 10 of Apple's 15 requests to release Trump's 25 percent tariff on Chinese imports.


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