Apple may not, in Donald Trump’s words, be about to “build their damn computers in this country,” but it is going to help boost advanced manufacturing jobs in the US through a $1 billion fund.
In an interview with Mad Money’s Jim Cramer, CEO Tim Cook said the fund would help Apple be “the ripple in the pond, because 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.”
The move could go some way towards placating President Trump, who has repeatedly called for US companies to move manufacturing jobs from overseas locations such as China back to American soil.
The first beneficiary of the fund will be announced later in May. Cook didn’t go into specifics, but he did say Apple has “talked to a company that we’re going to invest in.”
Cook said Apple would borrow the $1 billion rather than using the cash it has stored overseas, as this method is cheaper than paying taxes to bring the money back into the US. Apple reportedly has about $256.8 billion cash on hand, but 93 percent of that is held abroad.
While there have been some reports that Apple could bring iPhone production to the US, the chances of it moving its large-scale manufacturing operations from China seems highly unlikely.
In another part of the interview, Cook said rumors about the upcoming iPhone 8 were having a negative effect on iPhone 7 sales.
“There are more rumors floating and more press articles and mentions of new things. And when that happens a percentage of people delay,” said the CEO. “And so yeah, we see a piece of that. That probably affects us more in China than other places because there’s a tendency there to buy the latest thing.”