During the company’s Q3 earnings call this evening, Tim Cook finally addressed President Trump’s promise that Apple had agreed to build three “big, beautiful” production plants in the United States. While Cook was somewhat vague in his response, he explained that Apple is committed to the U.S. economy and looking how to expand its investments.
When pressed for comment on Trump’s promise, Cook turned to talking about what Apple is currently doing to create jobs and fuel the United States economy. He explained that Apple has created 2 million jobs in the U.S. and continues to invest in areas like Corning with its Advanced Manufacturing Fund.
Cook’s full response:
“Let me just take this question from a ‘what are we doing to increase jobs’ standpoint, which I believe is where it’s rooted. We’ve created 2 million jobs in the U.S. We do view that we have a responsibility to increase economic activity in the United States, including creating jobs, because Apple could only have been created here.”
Cook then dove into outlining how Apple is creating jobs in the U.S. economy. He explained that app development remains one of the biggest and fastest growing job markets, while also noting that Apple has purchased $50 billion in supplies and services from U.S. based suppliers. “We’ve asked ourselves how we can increase this,” Cook said.
The response by Cook is very much a “non answer” as he didn’t directly address President Trump’s comments. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s what Trump said during an interview last month:
“I spoke to [Mr. Cook], he’s promised me three big plants—big, big, big,” Mr. Trump said as part of a discussion about business-tax reform and business investment. “I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success. He called me, and he said they are going forward.”
Since then, Apple manufacturer Foxconn announced a new LCD facility for Wisconsin, but it will focus on supplying screens for Sharp televisions and has no relation to Apple. Some have speculated that perhaps Trump got Apple and Foxconn confused with one another, which is only further corroborated by Apple’s silence on the matter.