U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that Apple CEO Tim Cook has “promised” to build three big manufacturing plants in the United States.
“I spoke to (Cook), he’s promised me three big plants—big, big, big,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview on Tuesday.
Trump didn’t elaborate on where those plants would be located or when they would be built, the paper reported.
Apple manufactures Mac Pro in Austin and relies on Corning, with a factory in Kentucky, for displays of the iPhone and iPads. It also uses cell and Wi-Fi radios made in Texas by Avago Technologies and processors made by Samsung in Austin and New York, but Apple’s flagship product, the iPhone, is largely assembled by hundreds of thousands of workers at Chinese manufacturers.
“We’re gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries,” Trump had said in his campaign speech in January last year.
Apple, on its part, had been making disclosures to highlight how it had been contributing to job creation in the United States.
Cook said in February that Apple spent $50 billion in 2016 with its U.S. suppliers.
The world’s largest company by market valuation had also claimed that it created 2 million jobs in the United States, 80,000 of which are directly at Apple and the rest coming from suppliers and developers for the company’s app ecosystem.
Cook said in May that Apple planned to create a $1 billion fund intended to bring advanced manufacturing jobs to the U.S. He also said the company intended to fund programs that could include teaching people how to write computer code to create apps.
Trump’s comments on Tuesday were some of the first he has made regarding Apple’s manufacturing since assuming the presidency.
“I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success,” the WSJ quoted Trump as saying.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump also said that Foxconn, one of Apple’s biggest supplier is also planning to build a big plant in the United States and is “strongly considering” putting it in Wisconsin, the Journal reported.
Foxconn said last month it plans to invest more than $10 billion in a display-making factory in the United States.
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