In an interview with Axios on Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump says he recently spoke with Tim Cook about moving Apple production to the United States. Trump claims that the CEO has his "eyes open to it," and that he "really believe[s Cook] loves this country and I think he'd like to do something major here.”
Trump has repeatedly highlighted Apple as one of the companies he wants to push to build products Stateside. Cook was among the many tech leaders Trump met with in December, during which he told guests they can call him directly if they need anything, because “we have no formal chain of command around here.” It’s unclear whether the conversation Trump referenced to Axios took place during that meeting, immediately after Trump was declared the winner of the election, or more recently. As my colleague Jake Kastrenakes previously wrote, Trump seems to be dropping Cook’s name when given the opportunity to appear like he’s making progress.
Trump’s rhetoric on moving overseas manufacturing to the US has been a staple of his presidential campaign, and has been even more prominent post-election. Despite having yet to take office, Trump erroneously took credit for the many recent carmaker announcements in their investments in US-based auto plants even though the companies clearly stated that their moves had nothing to do with the president-elect.
We’ve contacted Apple to confirm when the conversation took place and will update if we hear back.