Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump unveiled a new plan should he win the election: make Apple to move all of its product manufacturing into the United States. Mr. Trump shared his idea during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech at Liberty University on Monday. So much for the capitalist spirit.
Donald Trump: I'll force Apple to make Macs & stuff in the U.S.
Mr. Trump was pretty clear on his plan saying,
We’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of other countries.
He also said he'll impose a 35 percent tax on any business producing its goods outside of the United States. Keep in mind Mr. Trump is the same man who said he wants to build a massive wall along the U.S. and Mexico border.
With that out of the way, let's break down what Mr. Trump said. First up, making Apple build its "damn computers and things" in the U.S.
Apple already builds the Mac Pro in the U.S., and has said it would like to bring more of its production into the country. The big problem Apple is facing now is a complete lack of in-country infrastructure to support its production needs.
The iPhone, for example, is built in Foxconn's factories in China—factories built like cities with thousands of employees working on highly tuned production lines geared to build products on the scale Apple and other companies need. Addressing that will require Mr. Trump to fundamentally change in-country production processes.
For Apple, and presumably every other U.S.-based electronics maker, to remain competitive, Mr. Trump would need to find a way to change production systems on a global level, too. Apple isn't the only company using overseas facilities to build its devices.
Next up is finding a way for companies to economically make their products in the U.S. Even without accounting for the lack of a production infrastructure in the country, it's proven to be far more economical to make products outside the U.S. and import them for sale.
In other words, it's logistically and economically unrealistic for Apple and other companies to mass produce in the United States. The country simply can't compete with China in that space.
Next Up: Hello, Tariffs