Prematurely of Trump’s manufacturing unit tour at the moment, I took a have a look at the unusual relationship that’s developed between Tim Prepare dinner and Donald Trump over the previous three years. One of many issues that popped up was one particular story that Trump would inform about Apple, in rally after rally and assembly after assembly. The thought was that Trump had someway induced the corporate to construct a brand new manufacturing unit within the US, by means of some mixture of tax cuts and commerce coverage, which was each very politically helpful and likewise very a lot not true.
In the present day, maybe not surprisingly, he advised the lie once more.
“We’re seeing the start of a really highly effective and essential plant,” Trump stated on the manufacturing unit. “Anyone that adopted my marketing campaign, I might all the time speak about Apple, that I need to see Apple constructing vegetation in the US. And that’s what’s taking place.”
This isn’t true for a pair causes — one in every of them nitpicky and one in every of them much more critical. The nitpicky downside is that Apple isn’t truly constructing a producing plant. The corporate is constructing a brand new campus in Austin, however it’s miles away from the manufacturing unit and the roles are going to be similar to the sort of white-collar design and engineering work that Apple does in Cupertino. Apple doesn’t do its personal manufacturing, and the plant Trump is standing in belongs to a contractor known as Flex Ltd (previously Flextronics).
However the greater downside is that what Flex is doing isn’t something new. This explicit manufacturing unit has been manufacturing Mac Professionals since 2013, when Prepare dinner first introduced it might assemble them in the US. That’s earlier than Trump took workplace. So the concept that we’re seeing the start of one thing, or that Trump has performed one thing throughout his presidency to result in this explicit occasion of US manufacturing, simply doesn’t maintain water.
Trump is speaking as if Apple has created a brand-new manufacturing unit in Texas to construct Mac Professionals. If all you noticed was a five-second clip on the information, that’s most likely the impression you’d get — however it simply isn’t true.
Individuals typically get very labored up about whether or not a politician is technically “mendacity” once they say one thing that isn’t true, or in the event that they’ve simply stumbled into falsehood as if unintentionally falling off a chair. However whenever you say the identical false factor time and again for a 12 months and a half, it’s arduous to name it the rest.
Talking of which, Trump simply aired the lie on Twitter as nicely:
In the present day I opened a significant Apple Manufacturing plant in Texas that may carry excessive paying jobs again to America. In the present day Nancy Pelosi closed Congress as a result of she doesn’t care about American Staff!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2019
You possibly can see the video footage of Trump’s tour for your self under.
Issues truly worsen in case you hold watching. Later within the video, Trump takes again the mic for a fast apart on how his tariff coverage has benefited the manufacturing unit.
“The good half is, he doesn’t have to fret about tariffs,” Trump says. “Once you construct it right here, you don’t have to fret about tariffs.”
That is additionally not true.
In reality, Apple is presently paying tariffs on various Mac Professional elements, which should be imported from China to Texas earlier than the ultimate machine may be assembled. (Ten of Apple’s requested tariff exemptions have been issued earlier this 12 months, however 5 others have been denied, together with taxes on the cooling system, charging cable, and numerous circuit boards.) As a result of Trump’s present array of tariffs are levied on elements however not completed gadgets, Apple truly doesn’t pay tariffs on the iPhones and MacBooks which are assembled in China.
The web impact is a tax on electronics assembled within the US. It’s costlier to assemble Mac Professionals within the US, not simply due to labor and manufacturing prices, however explicitly due to the tariffs Trump has positioned on middleman items. Apple even briefly flirted with shifting Mac Professional manufacturing again to China, as a manner of driving residence the price of these tariffs, though the corporate in the end backed down.
The construction of these taxes might change sooner or later, and a tariff on telephones and different electronics has already been formally proposed, though it retains getting delayed. However, talks with China might be so productive that earlier rounds of tariffs are lifted utterly. With that a lot uncertainty, it’s arduous for anybody to make certain about one of the best ways to rearrange a provide chain.
However the result’s an alarming stage of falsehood even by Trump requirements. He claimed to have introduced Apple manufacturing to the US whereas standing in a manufacturing unit that had already been constructing Apple merchandise for six years, and one which had practically misplaced the gig — not benefited — due to Trump’s commerce coverage.