In a CNBC interview this evening, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple will start a $1 billion fund to “promote advanced manufacturing jobs in the United States.” President Trump has repeatedly called out American companies that do a majority of their manufacturing overseas, including Apple.
Previously, Apple has hinted that it might explore the possibility of building iPhones in the US. Trump has explored the possibility of a border adjustment tax, which would heavily penalize companies that manufacture overseas, but no concrete plans have been put forward.
In the interview with CNBC, Cook didn’t explicitly talk about Trump’s policies or indicate that they were the impetus for Apple’s announcement. Cook seemed to promote Apple’s new fund as part of the company’s broader corporate social responsibility, saying “A lot of people ask me, ‘Do you think it’s a company’s job to create jobs?’ and my response is [that] a company should have values because a company is a collection of people. And people should have values, so by extension, a company should. And one of the things you do is give back.”
Details of the fund have not been specified, but Cook did say that Apple has already “talked to a company that we’re going to invest in.” That first investment is expected to be made in May.
A $1 billion investment is a relative drop in the pond for Apple, which yesterday revealed that its cash holdings, mostly offshore, now total more than $250 billion. Cook did not specify if the investment fund will come from Apple’s cash stock, or debt financing, which it commonly uses for dividends and share buyback programs.