US President-elect Donald Trump has said that he wants Apple to start manufacturing its major products in the US instead of countries like China and Taiwan. Trump said he was ready to create incentives for the Apple to open a big plant in the US.
In an interview given to the New York Times, Trump said he called the company's CEO Tim Cook and told him, "Tim, you know, one of the things that will be a real achievement for me is when I get Apple to build a big plant in the United States, or many big plants in the United States, where instead of going to China, and going to Vietnam, and going to the places that you go to, you're making your product right here."
Tech giant Apple makes its designing and marketing decisions for its high-end products in California but electronic units are assembled at factories in China and components are mostly produced in China, Japan and Taiwan.
Trump says a big part of this problem is the overburdening regulations and huge taxes that US corporations have to pay.
"We're going for big tax cuts, we have to get rid of regulations, regulations are making it impossible. Whether you're liberal or conservative, I mean I could sit down and show you regulations that anybody would agree are ridiculous. It's gotten to be a free-for-all. And companies can't, they can't even start up, they can't expand, they're choking," he said.
Industry experts, however, think the dearth of having electronics manufactured in US is far beyond just regulations.
"Geography matters," Seungjin Whang, a Stanford Business School professor told Guardian. "In Shenzhen, if you need a part however scarce it might be, you can find at least 10 suppliers within a day."
Tim Wilson, a partner in venture capital firm Artiman also agrees that building these products from scratch is impractical and says, "Right now the supply chain to make consumer electronics in volume does not exist in the US. You might tax so it costs more, but to reposition and get people to rebuild that supply chain in the US is not something that I would predict in the next few years."
Despite all these logistical issues, a recent report in the Nikkei Asian Review said that Apple might be keen to start manufacturing iPhones in the US. The company has reportedly asked its manufacturing contractors, Foxconn and Pegatron to look at the possibilities for the same. While Foxconn is said to be still looking at the option, Pegatron is said to have declined the proposition to formulate such a plan due to cost concerns.
This is not the first time Trump has voiced his desire to get Apple to build its products in the US. In January, the president-elect had said, "We're going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries."
Trump had even called for a boycott of the company's products during the Apple-FBI tussle and said the company should help the FBI to unlock one of the San Bernardino shooters' iPhones, a request Apple resisted and ultimately did not comply with.