Enlarge / President-elect Donald Trump walks through the lobby of the New York Times Building following a meeting with editors of the paper on November 22, 2016.Spencer Platt / Getty Images News
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President-elect Donald Trump told The New York Times in a Tuesday interview that he would incentivize Apple to “build a big plant” in the United States.
During that interview, Trump touched on numerous subjects, changing his tune on several campaign positions. He backed off threats he made during his campaign to prosecute his political rival, Hillary Clinton, over her use of a personal e-mail server while she was Secretary of State.
However, Trump indicated to columnist Thomas Friedman that he is going to double-down on bringing factory jobs back to America, especially in the Rust Belt from Michigan to Pennsylvania.
FRIEDMAN: Are you worried, though, that those companies will keep their factories here, but the jobs will be replaced by robots?
TRUMP: They will, and we’ll make the robots, too. [laughter]
TRUMP: It’s a big thing, we’ll make the robots, too. Right now we don’t make the robots. We don’t make anything.
But we’re going to.
I mean, look, robotics is becoming very big and we’re going to do that. We’re going to have more factories. We can’t lose 70,000 factories. Just can’t do it. We’re going to start making things.
Trump’s point that America doesn’t “make anything” is objectively false.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, manufacturing is at the highest level it’s been in a decade, but this economic output being achieved with fewer workers.
Trump continued, saying that he had received a call from Apple CEO Tim Cook.
As the president-elect recounted:
…and I said, ‘Tim, you know, one of the things that will be a real achievement for me is when I get Apple to build a big plant in the United States, or many big plants in the United States, where instead of going to China, and going to Vietnam, and going to the places that you go to, you’re making your product right here.’ He said, ‘I understand that.’ I said: ‘I think we’ll create the incentives for you, and I think you’re going to do it. We’re going for a very large tax cut for corporations, which you’ll be happy about.’ But we’re going for big tax cuts, we have to get rid of regulations, regulations are making it impossible. Whether you’re liberal or conservative, I mean, I could sit down and show you regulations that anybody would agree are ridiculous.
It’s gotten to be a free-for-all.
And companies can’t, they can’t even start up, they can’t expand, they’re choking.
Recently, the Nikkei Asian Review reported that Apple’s manufacturing contractors, Foxconn and Pegatron have been looking into manufacturing the iPhone in the US.
Apple did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.
Trump did not mention the fact that earlier this year, he called for a boycott of Apple products.