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Apple is not building new plants in the U.S., even though Trump continues to say it is

Donald Trump Apple

In a speech on the White House lawn today, President Trump brought up Apple during some remarks about economic growth. The iPhone maker, Trump claimed, is set to build “new plants” in the U.S.

Cue Ron Howard’s Arrested Development narrator — (“It’s not.”)

“Apple alone is bringing in $230 billion and they’re building new plants, they’re building a magnificent campus, they’re gonna be spending their money very wisely, but they’re spending it in our country, not in some other country,” Trump said during the speech.

Okay, giving Trump the benefit of the doubt — yes, Apple has a shiny new campus, Apple Park. It’s also looking for another U.S. campus location. But in terms of “new plants,” Trump could have been referring to Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn, which just broke ground on a $10 billion plant in Wisconsin.

It’s not much of a stretch to think Trump may have been referring to that because, well, Trump was present for that plant’s groundbreaking in June.

Foxconn is the largest contract electronics maker and will be producing flat-panel displays at that 20 million-square-foot Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin factory. The facility will eventually be three times the size of the Pentagon and employ up to 13,000 workers with an average wage of more than $53,000 plus benefits.

Per 9to5Mac, “The narrative of Apple building ‘new plants’ in the United States is one of long-running falsehood. Trump first claimed last year that Tim Cook had promised him Apple was building three ‘big’ manufacturing plants in the United States. Cook then dodged a question about such plants, instead touting the company’s existing commitment to job creation and growth in the United States.”

Going back a little earlier this year, though, Apple did make a multibillion-dollar announcement that’s relevant to all this. The company said it’s committing to contributing $350 billion to the U.S. economy over the next five years via a mix of factors like expected job creation. That figure is also separate from Apple’s ongoing tax payments and the sale of Apple products.

It encompasses new investments and also “Apple’s current pace of spending with domestic suppliers and manufacturers” which is estimated to hit $55 billion this year.

Apple already has more than 84,000 U.S. employees and said it expects to create 20,000 more jobs at the company by 2023. Apple also earlier this year said it could bring back most of the $252 billion in cash it’s stashed overseas, a move that would be thanks to the new tax law that Trump signed in December.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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