In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with Axios, President-elect Donald Trump, who will be sworn in as 45th Commander-in-chief of the United States of America on Friday, expressed his sentiments that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, wants to make a ‘big league’ effort to transition [at least some] aspects of iPhone manufacturing to the United States, adding that he believes Cook has “his eyes open to it.”
Trump and members of his transition team invited a small consortium of Silicon Valley executives, Entrepreneurs, and tech luminaries to an exclusive, sit-down ‘Tech Summit’ at Trump Tower last month, where a wide-range of topics — including taxes, trade, cybersecurity, and immigration, for example — were discussed among those in attendance, who included the likes of Apple CEO, Tim Cook, Alphabet CEO, Larry Page, Entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk, PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel, and many others. After the meeting, Trump was said to have sat down privately with Cook and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. And while the details about those meetings remain a mystery, one Silicon Valley heavyweight — Cisco Systems Chief Executive, Chuck Robbins — described the meeting as “constructive”, “interactive”, and “full of laughs,” during a recent interview with Business Insider.
“I think everyone that walked in that room put behind them whatever their political views were during the election,” Robbins said.
While Trump and Cook exchanged their fair share of jabs during the oftentimes contentious 2016 campaign season, Cook cited that the group discussed a myriad of issues such as user privacy, security, education, human rights, and the environment — all issues that are dear to Apple’s heart. However, shortly after the gathering took place, Cook returned to Cupertino with the primary intent of quashing any concerns among his employees that Apple would be shifting its existing policies in light of the incoming Trump administration, assuring them that his attendance at the Summit was “necessary” for the sake of positively influencing government policy.
Meanwhile, Trump has been working to encourage corporations to bring their manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. from overseas. He has promised to create major incentives, including “very large tax cuts” for companies who elect to bring their manufacturing jobs back to America. So far, his pledges have piqued the interests of a number of Apple suppliers, including Foxconn, Pegatron, and Taiwan Semiconductor Co. (TSMC), encouraging them to weigh their options for expanding operations Stateside. Masayoshi Son, the CEO of Japanese telecommunications-giant, Softbank Group, also met with Trump recently — a meeting at which he pledged to invest as much as $50 billion in the U.S. market.
Of course, while all of these deals are up in the air — as none of these entities have formally entered an agreement with Trump or his constituents yet — it’s still interesting to think that iPhones could be put together right here in our own backyard.
Would an iPhone that’s ‘Made in America’ change your opinion of Apple’s iconic device?
Let us know in the comments!