Apple plans $1 bn “advanced manufacturing fund” to fund US manufacturing

05 May 2017


Apple said it intended to bolster the US manufacturing sector by creating a $1 billion ''advanced manufacturing fund'' with part of the initial money going to a company the tech giant was prepared to partner with, chief executive Tim Cook said.

Cook's announcement, on Wednesday on CNBC, comes against the backdrop of Trump calling on corporates to create jobs for Americans in manufacturing and other sectors. Cook's initiative was apparently not influenced by Trump; the president had earlier praised companies such as Carrier, SoftBank and Charter Communications for promising to hire more American workers.

Apple's announcement had little to do with hiring; the company had merely stated it hoped to promote US manufacturing with its new fund.

''We've talked to a company we're going to invest in already,'' Cook said.

Apple intended to invest in programmes that could train workers how to code, Cook added. However, a lot of the money for this effort will be borrowed and not drawn from Apple's substantial cash reserves.

Cook had earlier spoken on the shortage of US workers who could perform advanced manufacturing, which differed from conventional manufacturing in that it often required specialised skills to produce highly-engineered components for Apple's products.

Apple has already created 2 million jobs in the US, from engineers to app developers to suppliers, Cook told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer.

Further, Apple has employed workers across 50 states, including 80,000 company workers in areas like research and development, customer support, financial services and Apple's 271 US stores.

US-based suppliers such as Corning, which provided glass for the iPhone and iPad, and 3M, which Apple called on for adhesive materials, credited the company for 450,000 jobs.

Also, "the App Store ecosystem," a network of designers and developers for the ever-growing roster of iPhone apps supported 1,53,000 jobs.

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