Trump to Apple: Make your “damn computers” in the U.S.

Apple should make its computers in the U.S., GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump said Monday during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Trump told the crowd at the Christian university that the government should penalize U.S. firms that go overseas to make their goods and services.

In his speech, Trump proposed a 35 percent tax on businesses producing goods overseas, wrote Gawker.

At the end of his 50-minute speech, the real estate mogul got specific, calling out Apple, which manufactures its products mostly in Asia (as do other tech firms).

“We’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers in this country instead of other countries,” he said.

A harsh government penalty that would restrict trade doesn’t exactly square with Trump’s presentation of himself as a successful capitalist struggling against government regulators, argues Gizmodo‘s Kate Knibbs. (I would note that Trump typically presents himself as an American nativist first, capitalist second).

Why wouldn’t it work for Apple to bring all its manufacturing to the U.S.?

Apple outsources not just because it is cheaper, but because there is a strong manufacturing infrastructure in places like China, wrote Knibbs, adding:

An all-American Apple sure sounds nice—it would create jobs, it would help ensure that the factory workers have decent working conditions. It’s also an empty applause line. The US president does not have the power to ban a company from outsourcing, nor does the president have the power to completely overhaul the global economy.

Sure, Trump could advocate for legislation designed to prevent outsourcing. But he would have to champion laws that would fundamentally alter free trade to make it financially advantageous for Apple to upend its manufacturing and supply chain.

Above: Donald Trump, the GOP presidential hopeful. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

 

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  • sd

    Poseur. Suppose we tax Trump 35% on the profits HE makes outside the U.S.? Trouble with Trump fans is that none of them seem to think beyond a soundbite or apply logic to whatever he says.

    • Woopsie

      And exactly what may I ask is wrong with building IPhones in the USA?

      • sd

        First of all, Apple DOES build computers in the United States: the Mac Pro, their most powerful computer. Trump either doesn’t know that or doesn’t care. Either should be concerning since he’s making an example out of Apple.

        This is typical Trump — the publicly-uttered half-thought that is never followed by any examination of why the thought may or may not be correct and, if it is correct, what has to happen to change it.

        It’s great to just say iPhones should be manufactured in America. It ignores 40 years of trade policy and Wall Street punishment of public companies that didn’t move manufacturing to wherever it was cheapest.

        This hollowing out of the economy didn’t happen overnight and it won’t be fixed overnight. Even if Apple set up an assembly line for iPhones in Cupertino tomorrow, it’s not like they could source circuit boards and screens and chips and batteries and cases from the U.S. anytime soon. The companies supplying those bits moved their production out of the U.S. years ago for the same reasons Apple did.

        And it’s not like Trump doesn’t make money from outside America. Take a look at Trump-branded clothing. It’s not made here. Trump makes millions by licensing his brand to many real-estate developers outside America, too.

        If Trump would volunteer to tax his own profits from these ventures at 35%, maybe it would be worth listening to what he has to say on this topic. Otherwise it’s typical Trump, chumming the waters with yet another ignorant statement.

      • sd

        First of all, Apple DOES build computers in the United States: the Mac Pro, their most powerful computer. Trump either doesn’t know that or doesn’t care. Either should be concerning since he’s making an example out of Apple.

        This is typical Trump — the publicly-uttered half-thought that is never followed by any examination of why the thought may or may not be correct and, if it is correct, what has to happen to change it.

        It’s great to just say iPhones should be manufactured in America. It ignores 40 years of trade policy and Wall Street punishment of public companies that didn’t move manufacturing to wherever it was cheapest.

        This hollowing out of the economy didn’t happen overnight and it won’t be fixed overnight. Even if Apple set up an assembly line for iPhones in Cupertino tomorrow, it’s not like they could source circuit boards and screens and chips and batteries and cases from the U.S. anytime soon. The companies supplying those bits moved their production out of the U.S. years ago for the same reasons Apple did.

        And it’s not like Trump doesn’t make money from outside America. Take a look at Trump-branded clothing. It’s not made here. Trump makes millions by licensing his brand to many real-estate developers outside America, too.

        If Trump would volunteer to tax his own profits from these ventures at 35%, maybe it would be worth listening to what he has to say on this topic. Otherwise it’s typical Trump, chumming the waters with yet another ignorant statement.

      • sd

        First of all, Apple DOES build computers in the United States: the Mac Pro, their most powerful computer. Trump either doesn’t know that or doesn’t care. Either should be concerning since he’s making an example out of Apple.

        This is typical Trump — the publicly-uttered half-thought that is never followed by any examination of why the thought may or may not be correct and, if it is correct, what has to happen to change it.

        It’s great to just say iPhones should be manufactured in America. It ignores 40 years of trade policy and Wall Street punishment of public companies that didn’t move manufacturing to wherever it was cheapest.

        This hollowing out of the economy didn’t happen overnight and it won’t be fixed overnight. Even if Apple set up an assembly line for iPhones in Cupertino tomorrow, it’s not like they could source circuit boards and screens and chips and batteries and cases from the U.S. anytime soon. The companies supplying those bits moved their production out of the U.S. years ago for the same reasons Apple did.

        And it’s not like Trump doesn’t make money from outside America. Take a look at Trump-branded clothing. It’s not made here. Trump makes millions by licensing his brand to many real-estate developers outside America, too.

        If Trump would volunteer to tax his own profits from these ventures at 35%, maybe it would be worth listening to what he has to say on this topic. Otherwise it’s typical Trump, chumming the waters with yet another ignorant statement.

      • sd

        First of all, Apple DOES build computers in the United States: the Mac Pro, their most powerful computer. Trump either doesn’t know that or doesn’t care. Either should be concerning since he’s making an example out of Apple.

        This is typical Trump — the publicly-uttered half-thought that is never followed by any examination of why the thought may or may not be correct and, if it is correct, what has to happen to change it.

        It’s great to just say iPhones should be manufactured in America. It ignores 40 years of trade policy and Wall Street punishment of public companies that didn’t move manufacturing to wherever it was cheapest.

        This hollowing out of the economy didn’t happen overnight and it won’t be fixed overnight. Even if Apple set up an assembly line for iPhones in Cupertino tomorrow, it’s not like they could source circuit boards and screens and chips and batteries and cases from the U.S. anytime soon. The companies supplying those bits moved their production out of the U.S. years ago for the same reasons Apple did.

        And it’s not like Trump doesn’t make money from outside America. Take a look at Trump-branded clothing. It’s not made here. Trump makes millions by licensing his brand to many real-estate developers outside America, too.

        If Trump would volunteer to tax his own profits from these ventures at 35%, maybe it would be worth listening to what he has to say on this topic. Otherwise it’s typical Trump, chumming the waters with yet another ignorant statement.

      • sd

        First of all, Apple DOES build computers in the United States: the Mac Pro, their most powerful computer. Trump either doesn’t know that or doesn’t care. Either should be concerning since he’s making an example out of Apple.

        This is typical Trump — the publicly-uttered half-thought that is never followed by any examination of why the thought may or may not be correct and, if it is correct, what has to happen to change it.

        It’s great to just say iPhones should be manufactured in America. It ignores 40 years of trade policy and Wall Street punishment of public companies that didn’t move manufacturing to wherever it was cheapest.

        This hollowing out of the economy didn’t happen overnight and it won’t be fixed overnight. Even if Apple set up an assembly line for iPhones in Cupertino tomorrow, it’s not like they could source circuit boards and screens and chips and batteries and cases from the U.S. anytime soon. The companies supplying those bits moved their production out of the U.S. years ago for the same reasons Apple did.

        And it’s not like Trump doesn’t make money from outside America. Take a look at Trump-branded clothing. It’s not made here. Trump makes millions by licensing his brand to many real-estate developers outside America, too.

        If Trump would volunteer to tax his own profits from these ventures at 35%, maybe it would be worth listening to what he has to say on this topic. Otherwise it’s typical Trump, chumming the waters with yet another ignorant statement.

  • Steve Hammill

    The government encouraged outsourcing to a number of countries in Asia, China among them. It was one of the many promises made (probably the wrong phrase, more like, “our companies could probably use your workforce…”) to the Chinese during the Carter Administration’s diplomatic efforts after Mao’s death and Deng’s ascendency. American business wanted to exploit cheap labor. Both the US and Chinese governments cleared the way; the rest is the path we took to get here. In the now, that bargain labor doesn’t look as great as it once did because the tables have turned quite a bit.

    It didn’t take much encouragement to get US business to start using cheap Asian labor, but a few carrots won’t bring the jobs back which explains Trump suggesting a billyclub. For him it’s a better play than going after unions and industrial workers.

  • disqus_Hs3xroVQp6

    Apple presents itself as the quintessential American company. It should prove to the American people that it cares about the country. Build your overpriced crap here and take the small hit on your profits for the good of the country. Til then I won’t buy any of their junk.

  • CharlotteLady

    Before Donald talks about “Making America Great” with ideas like forcing Apple to manufacture their products in the U.S., how about he starts with his own Donald Trump “Signature Clothing and Accessories” line of products — with the suits, cufflinks and tie tacks all currently manufactured outside the U.S. — in CHINA !!

    Sure…his “campaign paraphernalia” is manufactured in the U.S., but the stuff he personally makes a profit on (the Trump Signature Clothing and Accessories line) is farmed out to manufacture outside the U.S. And for all the countries outside the U.S. that could do the work, Trump selects CHINA !!!

    Pot calling the Kettle Black, Mr. Trump ??

 
 
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