Apple CEO Tim Cook called President-elect Donald Trump following his election victory over Hillary Clinton, Trump has confirmed. It’s unclear what the topic of conversation was, but Trump mentioned Apple a number of times during his campaign.
Trump told The New York Times that both Tim Cook and Microsoft founder Bill Gates have been in touch since his election win. According to a transcript from Philip Elmer-DeWitt, Trump told Cook:
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.
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.
Cook certainly has plenty to discuss with the next president, including those plans to force Apple to manufacture hardware in the U.S.
Trump made this promise during a campaign speech at Virginia’s fundamentalist Liberty University back in January, which you can watch below. Trump also promised that he would impose a 35 percent tax on companies like Apple if they manufacture goods overseas.
Cook has previously dismissed the idea of manufacturing iPhones in the U.S., arguing that Chinese workers have greater expertise in this area.
“I mean, you can take every tool and die maker in the United States and probably put them in a room that we’re currently sitting in,” Cook told Charlie Rose during an interview for 60 Minutes. “In China, you would have to have multiple football fields.”
And that’s not all. Bringing iPhone production to the U.S. would mean Apple has to pay more for manufacturing, and that wouldn’t be good for consumers. Macworld recently broke down the cost of building an iPhone in the U.S., and found it could raise prices to around $1,300.
Despite this, Cook has reportedly commissioned reports from manufacturing Foxconn and Pegatron to assess the feasibility of bringing iPhone production to the U.S. It is claimed Pegatron failed to comply with Apple’s request due to cost concerns.
Another topic of conversation may have been Trump’s opinion on Apple’s privacy policies. Back in February, Trump publicly called for a boycott of the Cupertino company because it was refusing to help decrypt an iPhone that belonged to a San Bernardino shooter.
“What I think you oughta do is boycott Apple until such time as they give that security number,” Trump said during one rally. “How do you like… I just thought of that.”
However, to help the FBI, Apple would have been forced to build a backdoor into iOS that would have allowed law enforcement to circumvent the passcode lock — something it wasn’t willing to do because it would have left millions of iPhone users at risk.
Cook may have also been interested in Trump’s plans cash repatriation. He has previously made contradictory promises about his plans for companies that wish to bring large amounts of cash into the U.S. from abroad.
Believe it or not, despite Trump’s opinions on Apple, he has investments in the company worth between $1.1 million and $2.25 million.
[via Maggie Haberman]