In addition to news of President Donald Trump’s meeting with industry heavyweights Monday, there was residual excitement about the fact that Foxconn, the Chinese company that assembles most of Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPLB) iPhones may be about to announce the building of a huge computer parts factory in the U.S.
Apple Television Lives
The news, from this past weekend, was based on remarks made by Foxconn chairman, Terry Gou, who said the company was considering building a $7 billion flat-panel screen factory in the U.S. At least one analyst said that could indicate Apple is planning to resurrect and build a long shelved television set.
If the TV rumor is true, the move by Foxconn may make sense. It is expensive to ship large-screen TVs from Asia and a factory in the U.S. would certainly eliminate that issue. In addition to televisions, Apple requires larger LCD panels for its iMac desktop and some other products.
The Trump Effect
As has been widely reporter, President Trump has been putting pressure on Apple and other companies to build in the U.S. A huge factory like the one suggested by Foxconn, even though it wouldn’t be owned by Apple, could go a long way toward showcasing Apple as a company completely on board with Trump’s “build American/buy American” mantra.
In fact, Apple already buys many parts made in the U.S. At last count the company had 8,000 suppliers in 31 states. The Foxconn factory could create 30,000 to 50,000 U.S. jobs. Add that to Apple’s current U.S. workforce of 80,000 and suddenly Apple begins to look very good in to the Trump administration.
Cutting Taxes And Regulations “Massively”
Meanwhile, at the President’s Monday meeting, he repeated his promise to business leaders to cut taxes and regulations “massively." In exchange, he expects companies to repatriate offshore cash and to make products in the United States.
The corporate tax rate, Trump said, should fall from its current top rate of 39% to 15 or 20%. In addition, the President said, “We can cut regulations by 75 percent, maybe more.”
In a nod to the rest of America Trump said, “We’re going to have regulation, and it’ll be just as strong and just as good and just as protective of the people as the regulation we have right now.”
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Top Companies Represented
Apple wouldn’t be the only winner in Trump’s “build American/buy American” economy. The business leaders who met with Trump Monday all stand to gain by reshoring or creating more jobs in the U.S. The group included Mark Fields CEO of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:FC), Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLAC) and Michael Dell of Dell Technologies (NYSE:DVMTC).
Also attending were representatives from Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE:WHRD), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJC), Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMTC), Arconic Inc. (NYSE:ARNCC), Dow Chemical Stock not found DOW, U.S. Steel (NYSE:XC), Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA), International Paper Co. (NYSE:IPC) and Corning Inc. (NYSE:GLWB).