Apple doled out more than $3B to over 7,000 US suppliers in 2013

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After announcing cooperation with the White House's "SupplierPay" initiative, Apple on Friday released domestic supply chain expenditure figures for the first time, saying it spent more than $3 billion with over 7,000 U.S. suppliers last year.

The numbers, along with some backstory on the small company responsible for the Mac Pro's aluminum enclosure, were revealed in a statement provided to TechCrunch following SVP of Operations Jeff Williams' meeting with President Barack Obama over the "SupplierPay" initiative.

"Last year, Apple spent more than $3 billion with over 7,000 suppliers running small and diverse businesses, creating tens of thousands of U.S. jobs," Apple said.

The White House earlier on Friday released a statement of its own announcing the program meant to stimulate small business financing. Highlighted in that report were several case studies, including Apple and Metal Impact, which supplies aluminum enclosures for the Mac Pro.

Describing the Mac Pro, which is the first Apple product to be assembled in the U.S. in more than a decade, the company said it managed to create 18 new jobs at Metal Impact and drove millions of dollars in revenue to the Illinois-based firm.

"The first thing customers notice when they look at a Mac Pro is the revolutionary cylindrical aluminum enclosure which comes from Metal Impact, a small company in Elk Grove Village, Illinois," Apple said in its statement. "Alongside their team we created an entirely new process and supply chain, conducting more than 40 experiments with ten different alloys on multiple aluminum mills."

Aside from tapping Flextronics in Austin, Texas, to assemble the Mac Pro, Apple says it uses "dozens" of component and equipment suppliers from 23 states.

SupplierPay is an offshoot of QuickPay, a government program that requires the federal government to pay small contractors within 15 days of receiving an invoice. Both programs are meant to cut down on loan interest payments, which should ultimately free up capital for reinvestment. The private sector version is backed by 26 companies, including Apple.

"For the larger companies, joining SupplierPay demonstrates a recognition that a healthy supply chain is good for business," the White House said. "For the small business suppliers, benefiting from SupplierPay means having more capital to invest in new opportunities, new equipment, and new hiring."