back to article Trump's new thought bubble: Make Apple manufacture in the USA

US Presidential wannabe Donald Trump has once again waded into matters technological, this time sketching an industry policy that would heavily tax US companies that don't manufacture on US soil. Trump went on to single out Apple, saying that “we're gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this …

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  1. Curly4

    Mr. Trump, You may try to make Apple build its products here in the US but what Apple will do is just move its company to China. So in the end the US will loose everything and China will be the one who reaps the benefits.

    Mr Trump I think that you will have a hard time getting that negotiated.

    1. Michael Thibault

      A reminder, Mr. Trump: "Location, location, location".

      As for "Apple will ... just move its company to China": unless, of course, Mr. Trump (if ever mistakenly actually elected PoTUS) also simultaneously holds out a carrot that takes the form of a tax holiday on repatriated profits--giving US companies reason to bring home the bacon and, thereafter, begin producing domestically in earnest. It takes a considerable length of time to spend as little as a billion $US. A couple of dozen of those and you're talking terms--two, maybe three.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "...also simultaneously holds out a carrot...

        I doubt that will happen - to paraphrase a Texan saying, Trump is all stick and no carrot.

        Someone might mention it to him as a Good Idea (tm), but Trump is so convinced that he is the cleverest man on Earth that I also doubt that he'll take any notice (at least not until it is waaaayyyy to late.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Apple won't leave for China

      He'll stop Apple from moving by building a wall around China. And having the Chinese pay for it!

      At least until he finds out China already has a wall, which the Chinese did pay for (or maybe people China conquered paid for it, I'm really not sure...)

    3. Mage Silver badge

      Move to China?

      Most of the Apple Company is already outside USA and not paying much tax anywhere. Certainly not in USA.

      Corporation tax is maybe too high everywhere, and specifically in USA. Tax the sales, the share dividends and corporate benefits and senior salaries and tax haven issues of corporation tax are reduced?

    4. boltar Silver badge

      "Apple will do is just move its company to China."

      LOL, yeah, right. You can just imagine all those wealthy liberal board members just jumping at the chance of moving to hard line dictatorship. Not.

      No, if Apple did move it would be a few hundred miles north to Canada or perhaps Europe. Location might not matter to the legal entity that is a corporation, but it matters a hell of a lot to the people who work for it.

      Anyway, whats so wrong with the idea of bringing manufacturing back to the USA? I imagine a large proportion of the population would be more than happy about it.

      1. jzl

        A company can move countries without actually changing its physical location. Tim Cook would stay right where he is.

        Apple has physical offices all around the world. The country of incorporation is a legal detail and has pretty much no physical significance.

        Also, you ask what's wrong with bringing manufacturing back to the USA?

        It's one thing if Tim Cook proposes it voluntarily (although it would impose a substantial cost penalty that competitors in South Korea, China and Japan don't face).

        It's something else entirely if the president of the federal government forces them to do it. Last time I checked, the law didn't grant the president that sort of power and the US is built on the concept of freedom.

        1. NotBob

          Last time I checked, the law didn't grant the president that sort of power

          Let me introduce you to a concept called "interstate commerce." The federal government has constitutional regulatory authority over it. It's been misinterpreted enough that in the 1940s, it was used to punish a farmer for growing more wheat than he was allowed to grow, even though the wheat was to feed the farmer's own cattle (see Wickard v. Filburn).

          Pretty sure that could be used with less twisting to help "influence" Apple et all.

      2. SEDT

        The Great Wall of Trump

        Manufacture whatever you like wherever you like. The test comes when you sell that product in the market, and have to compete against whoever is manufacturing the same thing, perhaps better elsewhere and for less.

        I don't get him. Is Trump really this thick. Or is he unsubtly pandering to the somewhat poorly educated in the hope that his shakey campaign will gather sufficient momentum to plonk him into the Oval oriface

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: The Great Wall of Trump

          "The test comes when you sell that product in the market, and have to compete against whoever is manufacturing the same thing, perhaps better elsewhere and for less."

          Given the premium the people are willing to pay for Apple products I don't see that being an issue.

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Anyway, whats so wrong with the idea of bringing manufacturing back to the USA? I imagine a large proportion of the population would be more than happy about it.

        While I agree in principle, there's a different reality. Bring in manufacturing jobs to a country where segments of the population believe burger flipping is a career and they should be paid $15 an hour for it? A country were for decades, dads who worked in factories told their children that they should do better than work in a factory? There are factory jobs that go unfilled because the millennials (for starters) think that work is beneath them no matter how much they're paid for the work.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Replying to multiple posts

          Manufacturing in the US - if Apple reaches the point where they want to do it in an automated fashion, instead of having people put together all the fiddly bits, then it doesn't really matter much where the factory is located. Obviously bringing that sort of manufacturing back to the US wouldn't bring a whole lot of jobs either. I suspect that as automation grows, more manufacturing will come back to the US, but any jobs they create will not help those lower skilled people who were displaced when manufacturing jobs started leaving the US.

          Trump - he knows what he's doing, and he's pandering to the "angry white man" contingent of the republican party that blames everyone else (liberals/Obama, illegal aliens / non-whites, China, congress, etc.) for their own problems. Trump tells them he'll make America great, bring back jobs, build a wall to keep out illegals, and so forth without regard to how he will do these things or if they are even constitutional. I have to admit I thought he'd stick his foot in his mouth and flame out long ago, but his supporters like that he speaks his mind. Say what you want about him, he doesn't have speechwriters like everyone else, and he's becoming more polished as far as how he conducts himself (though he still says outrageous things) so he looks to make a serious run. I think if he's elected he would probably be forced to govern from the center. We had an actor as president in the 80s and survived, could a real estate tycoon be any worse?

          Corporation tax - while it is the too high in the US, the democrats won't lower it without removing loopholes that allow some companies to pay nothing or nearly so, and the republicans won't allow that because it would mean raising taxes on some corporations that contribute (tax deductible!) to their campaigns. In the end it doesn't matter, because the money Apple and others holds overseas is taxable, just not today.

          Moving corporate HQ - while it is doable the PR hit especially for a company like Apple would be massive, so it is not something likely to happen. I agree there's no way they'd move to China. The way that US drug companies have been moving overseas is via a reverse merger. They get "acquired" by a European company and the merged entity has its HQ there. I put quotes around acquired because the acquirer is much smaller thus the name reverse merger. I think simply moving overseas may trigger taxes due on overseas cash first which is why you never see successful US multinationals move their HQ out of the US.

          1. Ken 16 Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            PR hit?

            Apple makes 2/3rds of it's money outside the US, which is a declining market. The PR boost in the growth markets of China would probably make it worthwhile

      4. A_Noid

        Yes, especially the unions.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Absolutely - Taiwan or China Apples new HQ

      But do you think Mr Chump, whoops I mean Mr Trump is capable of thinking that one through?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The media in its little twitter echo-chamber badly distorts reality. Just by the amount of air-time they're giving him, an outsider would think Trump matters.

    In reality, how credible is Trump? Is all this bluster and American exceptionalism what voters are actually looking for?

    1. Afernie

      And now, play the substitution game:

      "In reality, how credible is Corbyn? Is all this tea-drinking and brown sandals what voters are actually looking for?", said just about every pundit ever before the Labour leadership election.

      Corbyn may have no chance of being elected as PM, but he's turned the UK political landscape on its head. Trump might not have a real shot at President, but he's clearly not dropping out and there are enough fruitloops who drool on his every braying rant to make things horribly interesting. Look at how the rest of the GOP 'candidates' adjust their rhetoric to match the kind of crap he comes out with.

      1. Patrician

        Re: And now, play the substitution game:

        I wouldn't say that Corbyn has "turned the UK political landscape on its head"; he's just managed to turn the labour party into an unelectable comedy act.

        1. Jess

          Re: he's just managed to turn the labour party into an unelectable comedy act.

          It already was that. The last election proved that.

          At least now you can tell the difference between their policies and the Tories.

        2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: And now, play the substitution game:

          That's what you and I think!

          I wouldn't be so sure that this is a fact though. Unfortunately.

      2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: And now, play the substitution game:

        There are quite large differences between Corbyn and Trump, the most compelling being that Corbyn is (and has been for ~30 years) an elected politician, and now elected as the head of the Labour party. Trump has neither been elected to political office, or won the nomination of the GOP.

        As for their effect on the political landscape, I'm fairly sure neither is changing the opposition parties viewpoint.

        Trump is stating policies that are clearly fantastic and impossible to implement, but it's not like some of the other GOP aren't above suggesting that only christians should be allowed refugee status in the USA.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          What's a GOP?

          "or won the nomination of the GOP."

          What's the GOP? I thought in the USA it was all Republicans and Democrats with the occasional wealthy idiot independent?

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: What's a GOP?

            What's the GOP?

            Grand Old Party, a nickname for the Republican Party. Though I'm sure other, more entertaining, expansions are available.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: What's a GOP?

              "Grand Old Party, a nickname for the Republican Party."

              Thanks!.

              (not sure which ignorant twats downvoted me for asking a reasonable question though)

              And yes @MKI, in my experience, GOP is group of pictures too :-)

          2. MJI Silver badge

            Re: What's a GOP?

            Group Of Pictures

            Used in MPEG encoding

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_of_pictures

          3. John G Imrie Silver badge

            Re: What's a GOP?

            I thought it stood for God's Own Party

            1. only_mortal

              Re: What's a GOP?

              We call it YLF in Yorkshire.

          4. This post has been deleted by its author

          5. sed gawk

            Re: What's a GOP?

            GOP = grand old party = republicans

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And now, play the substitution game:

          Am I the only one that secretly wants Trump to get elected, just to see what happens?

          1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

            Re: And now, play the substitution game:

            "Am I the only one that secretly wants Trump to get elected, just to see what happens?"

            I expect that Vladimir Putin prays to an ikon every night that Trump gets elected. An isolationist, neo-fascist and a Republican government - what could possibly go wrong?

          2. Col_Panek

            Re: And now, play the substitution game:

            Easy for you to say if you don't live here.

            Just remember, though, you live on the same planet, and the POTUS has nucular bombs.

        3. breakfast

          Re: And now, play the substitution game:

          Seems like Corbyn has a lot more in common with Bernie Sanders, who is the only candidate on either side that appears to have even a slightly positive voter approval rating in the wider US electorate. Whether that will result in anything interesting happening is a moot point.

      3. hammarbtyp Silver badge

        Re: And now, play the substitution game:

        Corbyn may have no chance of being elected as PM, but he's turned the UK political landscape on its head.

        Corbyn has turned Labour around.

        It used to be un-electable and fragmented. Now it's fragmented and un-electable

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey El Reg...

    Why are you wasting electrons on this clown?

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Hey El Reg...

      Clown he may be but Trump is the leader in the GOP field according to the polls.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Hey El Reg...

        Clown he may be but Trump is the leader in the GOP field according to the polls.

        I guess I need a pedantic type's help or at least someone better versed in the mother tongue than this "Merikin... is he a "twatdangle" or a "cockwomble"?

        1. MrDamage

          Re: Hey El Reg...

          He is more than both. He is Trump.

          Twatdangling

          Rectum-faced

          Uterine Discharge

          Mexican Hating

          Prat of the highest order.

    2. John Bailey

      Re: Hey El Reg...

      "Why are you wasting electrons on this clown?"

      Comedy.

      Embarrassing Americans.

      Providing a warning to others about the dangers of not voting against such cretins.

      Pick one.. Pick em all.

      It would almost be worth him getting elected just for the sheer naked horror he would bring to corporate America before he ran the whole country into the ground...

      1. Stu Mac

        Re: Hey El Reg...

        That is rather to ignore history. He couldn't be a worse Pres than Obama, Bush or Clinton.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

          Re: Hey El Reg...

          "He couldn't be a worse Pres than Obama, Bush or Clinton."

          Oh he couldn't? I think you might be underestimating him.

          1. James 51 Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Hey El Reg...

            Don't you mean misunderestimate him?

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Hey El Reg...

          He makes Bush Junior seem like a very intelligent thoughtfull person.

          Fart and wiggy are terrible

          1. jason 7

            Re: Hey El Reg...

            Bush Jr would have been fine as a President had 9/11 and all the crap after not happened. In fact he could have done two terms and no one hardly would have known who he was. He would have just signed the usual forms, attended the usual dinners and spent 75% of his time in office playing golf at his ranch in Texas.

            He was just a guy to keep things ticking over, not to rock the boat. Unfortunately for him...

        3. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Hey El Reg...

          "That is rather to ignore history. He couldn't be a worse Pres than Obama, Bush or Clinton."

          No upvotes, fifteen downvotes and counting. Just how far from the pack have you strayed?

          1. AndyS

            Re: Hey El Reg...

            > Just how far from the pack reality have you strayed?

        4. Ken 16 Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Hey El Reg...

          I'll take that bet

    3. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Hey El Reg...Why are you wasting electrons on this clown?

      No electrons were destroyed in writing about Trump. I think you mean "Dropping electrons down a potential hole". Which is similar to but on a much smaller scale than what the Republican Party will do when it comes to actual nomination time.

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Devil

      @AC -- Re: Hey El Reg...

      I guess we should ask then: Why are you wasting electrons reading the article and commenting on it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC -- Hey El Reg...

        @ Mark 85

        What makes you think I read the article?

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