Back in 2011, President Barack Obama allegedly asked Steve Jobs why Apple couldn’t bring production of all of its products to the USA. “Those jobs aren’t coming back,” was Jobs’ response.
Donald Trump, the former reality TV star and potential next president – and no, that still doesn’t feel right to write down – has said he won’t take ‘those jobs aren’t coming back’ for an answer. “Apple and all of these great companies will be making their products in the United States, not in China, Vietnam,” said Trump in a victory speech recently.
This isn’t the first time the Republican front runner has made this promise, but given the way he fires off madcap ideas like someone who genuinely believes the ridiculous mantra that there’s “no such thing as a bad idea”, it makes sense to only really pay attention to the ones he keeps coming back to. So, Apple is coming back to American then?
It’s not that simple, even if there was a simple way to simply block out the global economy, or source all the components Apple needed within the US (remember that Trump has also said he wants to put a 45% import duty on Chinese products – which presumably would include components, of which the majority are sourced from Asia).
“These are questions of economics and talent. Where can you get the workers you need and what does it cost to make something? I think it would bankrupt the economy,” Bradley Tusk, the CEO of Tusk Ventures told ABC News. “You can have tax policies but at the end of the day, people have a right to make products where they want to make them.”
A better approach, according to Ivan Feinseth, chief investment officer at Tigress Financial Partners – also speaking to ABC News – would be to incentivise US production. “You should economic incentivise the behavior you want, not punish. For the most part, it works.”
That said, maybe this will be just be another one of Trump’s forgotten promises: like his vow to boycott using an iPhone in the wake of Apple’s ongoing fight with the FBI. That pledge lasted a matter of days before he was spotted tweeting from his iPhone.