US President Donald Trump toured Apple's Texas factory, as scheduled before, on Wednesday. The president also put out a weird claim – in a tweet the same day, he stated that he "opened" the plant to "bring back high-paying jobs to America."
Actually, a company called Flex has been assembling the Mac Pro PCs in the plant since 2013. But, in September this year, the Trump administration exempted Apple from tariffs, which made it possible to produce the PC in Texas itself.
Donald Trump has also stated that he is looking at further exemptions to make the production of Apple devices in the US cheaper.
Apple has also announced a new three million-square-foot campus in Austin, Texas. It won't be a factory where PCs are produced, but instead be dedicated to research and development. The company says that it will house 5,000 employees.
"Building the Mac Pro, Apple's most powerful device ever, in Austin is both a point of pride and a testament to the enduring power of American ingenuity," Apple CEO Tim Cook stated in a formal press release issued on Wednesday on the Apple Website.
Trump has stated that shifting production from China to the US is not just a challenge of cost, it is about exemptions. The US is not a protectionist economy like China and if it issues certain exemptions to Apple, it will also have to issue those protections to its rivals from other geographies such as Samsung.
The president has been trying to eke out trade deals with these countries to have a workable arrangement.
The biggest test of getting these jobs back to America will be whether Apple's leading product is ever produced, even partially, in the US. The company shipped 218 million iPhones in 2018, most of which were assembled in China.
A lot has been going on and everything including the US-China trade war will have implications on how Apple's future shapes up.