Silicon Valley Bows to Trump: Apple to Build iPhones in America

Tim Cook iPhone 7 (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)
Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

With Silicon Valley CEOs terrified that President Donald Trump will retaliate against offshoring production, Apple is already preparing to move iPhone production back to America.

The Nikkei Asian Review reported:

“Apple asked both Foxconn and Pegatron Corp., the two iPhone assemblers, in June to look into making iPhones in the U.S.,” a source said. “Foxconn complied, while Pegatron declined to formulate such a plan due to cost concerns.”

As Breitbart News reported, candidate Donald Trump, while speaking at Liberty University in January, said, “We’re going to get Apple Computer to build their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries.” He added, “We gotta bring back the jobs from China, we gotta bring back the jobs from Japan, and all these countries that are ripping us off. And we’re gonna do that. And we are gonna do that.”

In March, Trump went after manufacturers who relocate production to China, where Apple’s assemblers churn out iPhones, iPads and MacBooks. “How does it help us when they make it in China?”

Already referred to as the “Valley of the Democrats” for the over 83 percent of Silicon Valley tech CEO and employee donations that went to Democrats in the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, Trump’s populist comments caused Silicon Valley corporate CEOs to double down on electing a Democrats, with over 99 percent of Silicon Valley’s $8.6 million in contributions in the presidential primaries going to Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Although the final numbers are not in yet, of the $497.8 million Hillary Clinton raised, small individual donations of $200 or less were just $91,522,689, or 18.3 percent. One of her top spots to vacuum up cash was Silicon Valley, where contributions averaged $1,276.

The biggest Clinton “Hillblazer” political bundler was Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook. He personally held a multi-million dollar fundraiser in August that was attended by 375 tech guests paying between $50,000 and $2,700 each.

Donald Trump’s surprising victory caused Silicon Valley tech stocks to suffer a 9 percent crash, while the rest of the stock market rallied to new all-time-highs.

Breitbart News warned that if the Trump administration is moving to “Make America Great Again!,” Silicon Valley tech firms could be the prime target of 45 percent tariffs on offshore supply chains, tightened immigration affecting H-1B visas, and a “trust busting” wave against unscrupulous monopolistic practices by modern tech corporate “robber barons.”

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou reportedly told Apple, “Making iPhones in the U.S. means the cost will more than double.” But that is insignificant, given that the current labor assembly cost is estimated at just $12.50, and that an iPhone 7 with a 32GB memory sells for $649.

The real issue for Foxconn moving iPhone assembly to America is China, where they employ about 690,000 workers, which about equals the entire population of Detroit.

The other $212.50 in the iPhone 7’s cost is associated with components made by Asians. Taiwan Semiconductor makes chips, Japan’s Japan Display and Sharp supply handset panels, and South Korea’s SK Hynix and Japan’s Toshiba produce the memory.

Tim Cook had told CBS News’ 60 Minutes in December 2015 that Apple could not move its iPhones production back to the U.S., because America lacked enough skilled workers.

“Let me be clear, China put an enormous focus on manufacturing, in what you and I would call vocational kind of skills,” he said. Cook blamed America for Apple’s need to move production offshore: “The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many vocational kind of skills.”

It seems that since the election of Donald Trump as President, Apple and soon the rest of Silicon Valley may have discovered that America does have enough skilled workers to make high-tech devices.


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