Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple has been a great job creator for the United States, even if people don’t realize how it’s contributed.
During the Apple shareholder meeting at its Cupertino headquarters, Cook said that the company has created over 2 million jobs in the US — and that includes positions in manufacturing. Apple spends over $50 billion per year with suppliers, Cook said, and the company has contracted US suppliers for parts of the iPhone, like the glass screen made by Corning, and all of the adhesives from Minnesota-based 3M.
Companies from Apple to Amazon are having to defend their supply chains to the public as President Trump has made American manufacturing a top priority of his administration. People fixate on the final product of manufacturing since that’s what they see, but “that’s not the reality,” Cook argued.
Beyond the manufacturing positions, the large majority of Apple’s job creation comes from the 1.4 million app developers who create and then “export” their apps to people worldwide.
Apple’s footprint in the United States has become an issue since President Trump called out the company several times for making its phones and computers in China during his campaign for president. Trump said he believes Apple should perform some of its manufacturing in the United States.
“One of the things that will be a real achievement for me is when I get Apple to build a big plant in the United States, or many big plants in the United States, where instead of going to China, and going to Vietnam, and going to the places that you go to, you’re making your product right here,” Trump told The New York Times.
Apple’s response so far has to been to point out how many jobs not only Apple’s corporate and retail wings create, but also the jobs for developers who make software for Apple devices.
Apple has reportedly told Foxconn, its primary manufacturing partner, to assess how realistic it would be to do manufacturing in the United States.
“It’s probably been one of the fastest growing job sectors in the US,” Cook said, given the launch of the App Store in 2008. “All those jobs have been created in less than a decade.”
Cook said that the company is still looking for “more ways to help our country” — especially since he knows Apple wouldn’t be Apple without it.
“We know that Apple could only exist in the United States. We know that this company couldn’t have been founded somewhere else,” Cook said. “It wouldn’t thrive somewhere else as it has here.”