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No, Apple is not opening a new manufacturing plant in Texas



  Donald Trump speaks at Apple's Mac Pro production facility in Austin, Texas.
Enlarge / Donald Trump speaks at Apple's Mac Pro production plant in Austin, Texas.

MANDEL NGAN / Getty [19659004] President Donald Trump toured Apple's Mac Pro production facility in Austin, Texas, with CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday.

"We are seeing the beginning of a very powerful and important facility," Trump said during the visit. "I want to see Apple build plants in the United States. That's what happens."

Trump repeated the theme in a tweet after the trip. "Today, I opened a large Apple manufacturing facility in Texas that will bring high-paying jobs back to America," he wrote.

Trump failed to mention a few key facts about the plant. First, it's technically owned by Apple contractor Flex, not Apple itself. More importantly, it's not new. Apple has built the Mac Pro in the same location since 201

3.

Apple opens a new facility in Austin – a 3 million square foot office facility where Apple says employees will perform a variety of functions, including "engineering, R&D, operations, finance, sales and customer support. " In remarks at the Mac Pro plant on Wednesday, Cook cited it as a $ 1 billion investment that will create Apple's second-largest site after Apple's home base in Cupertino.

But the new plant is not a production plant. It will create some high-paying jobs, but they will mostly be white collar jobs in areas such as engineering, finance and sales.

Tariff relief helped Apple stay in the United States

Apple's decision to keep Mac Pro production in the US follows contentious negotiations with the Trump administration. Back in June, a Wall Street Journal story suggested that Apple was preparing to move its Mac Pro production to China.

History of Journal included comments from an Apple spokesman who did not plan to move to China. Instead, the spokesman emphasized that "final assembly is only part of the production process."

Behind the scenes, Apple sought customs concessions that would make it cheaper to install the Mac Pro in the United States. Several key components of the Mac Pro were made in China, and Apple would incur customs duties if they sent these parts to the United States for assembly.

Donald Trump took a hard line on the matter in a July tweet. "Apple will not be offered tariff disclaimer or relief for Mac Pro parts made in China," he wrote. "Do them in the US, no tariffs!"

But in September, Apple announced that they would continue to make Mac Pro in Austin – and the company credited the Trump administration for the shift.

US production of Mac Pro is made possible by a federal product exclusion Apple receives for certain required components, "Apple wrote in its September announcement. Despite Trump's threats, his administration issued 10 of 15 Apple requests for relief from Trump's 25 percent tariff on Chinese imports.


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