President Donald Trump and Apple CEO Tim Cook are reportedly expected to tour the company's Texas-based manufacturing facility soon, CNBC reported Tuesday.
Neither the White House nor Apple have officially announced the trip, but the trip will underscore Cook's friendly relationship with Trump and the current administration as the US trade war with China continues to move forward.
The Verge reached the White House about the trip, but a spokeswoman refused to confirm it, saying that "The White House has no planning announcements at this time." Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Cook has continued to meet with Trump during his presidency. In 201[ads1]7, he sat on one of the administration's business advisory boards and was one of the few who stayed on after Elon Musk and Travis Kalanick left before it dissolved completely. Cook is also part of the Trump administration's Labor Policy Advisory Board, and has attended several White House meetings with the board.
"He is the one who calls me," Trump said in August, when asked about his relationship with the Chef. That's why he's an executive because he calls me, and others don't. Others go out and hire very expensive consultants, and Tim Cook calls Donald Trump directly. "
Trump's tariffs have presented a significant challenge to Apple, which is highly dependent on Chinese production. Earlier this fall, Apple agreed to produce its latest model of Mac Pro desktop machines in Austin, Texas. This decision came just days after trade regulators approved a majority of Apple's tax-exempt computer tax filings. Cook's relationship with Trump has so far kept Apple safe when it comes to the ongoing trade war. Trump has made it a goal this presidential term to increase US production, and Apple has so far been willing to play nice with him.
In November, the Apple Trump administration requested additional exemptions for products such as Apple Watches and iPhone components exported from China. As of Tuesday, the new exemptions have not been approved by regulators.