The big picture: Just as President Donald Trump is set to meet Tim Cook at Apple's manufacturing plant in Texas, the company revealed its plans to build a new campus in the region. The tech giant has scored some exemptions on import tariffs for its products, especially now that a significant number of Mac Pro's will be made in stateside.
Today, Apple announced it will start construction on a new campus in Austin, Texas, as the company is looking to expand its presence in the region. The company is committing $1 billion to the ambitious project, which is going to become operational as early as 2022 and house 5,000 employees.
The new facility will be close to the 244,000 square feet plant where Apple is assembling new Mac Pro computers using around 500 people. Coincidentally, this is also the place where CEO Tim Cook and Donald Trump are set to meet this afternoon for a tour of the manufacturing lines.
When finished, Apple's Austin campus will measure 3 million square feet with enough room for 15,000 employees. Naturally, this means bragging rights for the company, as it is "on track to contribute $350 billion to the US economy between 2018 and 2023." And President Trump is happy with the development, as it highlights how big companies are creating US manufacturing jobs.
The Cupertino giant aims to create around 20,000 jobs by 2023, and is also looking at places like Seattle, New York, and Pittsburgh to expand its footprint in the coming years.
Apple has mostly kept out of politics over the years, but as of late it's been making small and subtle steps into it as a result of the current trade war between US and China, which has the potential to greatly affect its bottom line.
Tim Cook has been cultivating a personal relationship with President Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump, through several private meetings and diners. It's likely that Cook will once again discuss Apple's request for tariff waivers during the visit at the Austin manufacturing facility, as the decision to make the new Mac Pro in the US was possible through federal exclusions on 10 of the 15 parts that have to be imported from China.
Apple isn't the only company looking looking to build additional campuses throughout the US. Google is also pouring $1 billion on a New York project, while Amazon is trying to convince the city to help it build a $3 billion headquarters.