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President Trump visits Apple's Mac Pro factory on November 20



For Apple, however, there is an additional level of pressure. The next big round of US tariffs for China is due to come into effect on December 15, and it could easily increase the cost of selling phones, laptops, monitors and other carriers in Apple's product lineup. A tour like this could help Apple persuade Trump to offer exceptions or otherwise change tariffs to keep costs down. Tim Cook has not been shy about following Trump even when he disagrees with key politics, and has gone so far as to warn the president that tariffs could hurt Apple's ability to compete with Samsung and other rivals that won't be affected.

whether or not Trump will be impressed is another matter. Although the Austin plant is not the sum of Apple-related manufacturing jobs in the United States (some components are made in the country), it is still a highly automated plant producing a pro workstation. Apple can afford to mount the Mac Pro in the United States in part because it is a low volume product that does not require a large number of workers to build. The recent customs exemptions made it so much easier. The facility may add jobs, but not to the extent that it is a major contributor to the US economy.


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