Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has vowed to force Apple Inc. – America’s most profitable manufacturer – to keep its production lines inside U.S. borders.
The billionaire businessman used a speech at Liberty University on Monday to unveil his plan, which was skimpy on specifics about how he could force a private business to change its production strategies.
But the real estate mogul did propose a 35 percent tax on businesses who produce their goods overseas despite claiming to support free trade, and having made his personal fortune as a free-market capitalist. Most of his wealth has been built as a developer through his real estate firm.
‘We’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of other countries,’ Trump said near the end of his speech, according to a report in the technology blog Gizmodo.
The report noted that Apple already builds its Mac Pro at a factory in Austin, Texas, although it has outsourced manufacturing of other goods such as the iPhone to a large factory in Shenzhen, China.
‘The U.S. president does not have the power to ban a company from outsourcing, nor does the president have the power to completely overhaul the global economy,’ it said.
Besides the obvious lack of legal authority in Trump’s statement, another interesting point would be in the losses that Apple would suffer if it were to accept the tax burdens in a hypothetical Trump administration.
In an article by Forbes, this would potentially result in “$6 billion more per year than what they paid if there was a 35% tariff and the iPhones were made overseas (231 million times 40% times $65)”.
Another challenge that has been mentioned would be the “sheer number of people required to assemble them, manage the processes and supply the components.”
Amazon, Google and Microsoft also use the Chinese factory for their own products. In a recent CBS ’60 Minutes’ interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook blamed the US tax code in past interviews, saying it is ‘awful for America.’
Source: Gizmodo, Forbes, Daily Mail