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US President-Elect Donald Trump spoke to the New York Times this week to discuss policies and next steps.
During the campaign run Trump said he’d have forced Apple to give the government access to the iPhone belonging to the San Bernadino shooter. He also said he’d make the company move their manufacturing operations to the US.
The full transcript of the interview reveals he’s already spoken with Apple CEO Tim Cook and they discussed the prospect of Apple moving its operations. Trump said he might consider providing tax breaks to the world’s richest company.
Of course, the information is anecdotal, but Trump told the Times:
“I was honored yesterday, I got a call from Bill Gates, great call, we had a great conversation, I got a call from Tim Cook at Apple, and I said, ‘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.’”
Trump said Cook’s response was “I understand that,” before continuing:
“I said: ‘I think we’ll create the incentives for you, and I think you’re going to do it. We’re going for a very large tax cut for corporations, which you’ll be happy about.’ But we’re going for big tax cuts, we have to get rid of regulations, regulations are making it impossible.”
Beyond this Trump didn’t comment further on Apple’s operations. Though he did talk more broadly on US companies either leaving, or thinking of leaving the US. He says as well as tax cuts, he’ll introduce regulation cuts to encourage companies to remain in the US
It’ll be an interesting few months as Trump’s approach with businesses unfolds. Whether Apple would ever move manufacturing to the US is unknown. But recent analysis has shown making phones in the US may only lead to a $30-40 price increase. That figure could conceivably fall under tax breaks.
During the election, the Chinese government also weighed in on one of Trump’s policies. It said iPhone sales “will suffer” under a threatened 45% tariff on Chinese imports.