CEO Tim Cook ducked the question about building Apple factories in the United States, something which President Donald Trump hinted at a few days ago. Cook deftly avoided the question by saying that the company’s overall effort is to increase the number of jobs in the United States.

Apple factories
Photo by igrec

Cook smartly avoids question on Apple factories

Just last month, Trump revealed a conversation he had with Cook. At the time, Trump stated that he “spoke to [Mr. Cook], he’s promised me three big plants—big, big, big. I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success. He called me, and he said they are going forward.”

There has been no response from Apple or Cook on Trump’s statement about the Apple factories since then. However, during Apple’s third fiscal quarter earnings call, analysts wanted more clarity about the matter, and no one better than Cook could tell them about the conversation. The question was put forth by UBS analyst Steven Milunovich, to which Cook replied by rephrasing the question.

“Let me just take this question from a what are we doing to increase jobs standpoint, which I believe is where it’s rooted. We created 2 million jobs in the U.S. We do view that we have a responsibility to increase economic activity in the United States, including creating jobs, because Apple could only have been created here,” Cook said.

Further, Cook stated that there are three main fronts where the jobs have been created. Three-quarters of the 2 million jobs are created on the app development front. Secondly, Cook stated that Apple has started encouraging local manufacturers by announcing its $1 billion advanced manufacturing fund. Lastly, he added that the company has over two-thirds of the employees in the United States even though only one-third of its revenue is generated from it.

Cook, however, ended the conversation by saying that the company will have more to say about job creation in the U.S. later in the year.

Apple believes in profits first

Before Trump, former President Barack Obama asked Steve Jobs in 2011 how a more supportive environment could be made so that Apple would start manufacturing iPhones in the United States. Trump, however is more focused on job creation since he was elected as the President. He has been asking big tech firms in the country to start manufacturing in the United States.

It seems like Cook wanted analysts to know that Apple is doing its part in increasing job opportunities in the United States and is not just focused on profits, as often the company is blamed for being. Only recently, Apple took flak from around the globe when it pulled down some of the VPN apps from its App Store in China. All those effected and whistleblowers like Edward Snowden stated that the company is more concerned about increasing its sales in China rather than standing for what is right.

In his company’s defense, Cook said government regulations in China are such that all VPN service providers need a license. Therefore, Apple had to pull down the VPN service providers that do not comply with government regulations.