Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has written an open letter to President-Elect Donald Trump on the latter’s intention of getting Apple to build iPhones in the United States. Gou starts the letter by congratulating Trump on his win and says that Trump’s victory has made him consider running for the Taiwanese office as well.
Gou then proceeds to say that he and Trump have a lot in common: both of them are billionaires, though Gou is richer; they like to build things, and both hate Wall Street.
The CEO then proceeds to advise Trump that he does not actually have to create any jobs, he just has to create a false impression that he is going to create them. He then proceeds to cite an example of how he has done something similar in Brazil, Indonesia, India, and many Chinese provinces. Detailing his Indonesia example, Gou says that it is one of his “proudest achievements.” He says that Foxconn will never build a single iPhone in the country and “probably never will.”
During closed-door discussions, they allowed themselves to believe I might invest $10 billion in a mobile-phone factory. It’s not my fault some over-eager politician, keen to burnish his reputation as a can-do leader, blabbed to the media.
Gou then talks about Trump asking Apple to build iPhones in the US. He says that Apple does not build stuff, but Foxconn does and Trump is talking to the wrong people.
The Foxconn CEO says that if Trump wants iPhones to be made in America, he can make it happen. In fact, he can set up a production line in Trump Towers if the President-Elect wants.
If you want iPhones to be made in America, I can make that happen, too. Heck, I can set up a production line in Trump Towers if you like, but the costs will be yuuuge. I have to cover my expenses, which include factories, labor and transport. You see, I don’t manufacture in China just because it’s cheaper, but because thousands of suppliers are there, within spitting distance of my factories and the one million people I employ during peak season.
Finally, Gou says that to get Foxconn to build iPhones in the US, Trump will need to give the company “tax breaks, subsidies to hire workers, cheap electricity and free land.” However, the catch is that despite all this, the production cost of iPhones will increase if they are manufactured in the US, and it won’t be Foxconn or Gou who will be paying for it.
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