Just a few days before he is set to be sworn into office, President-elect Donald Trump continues to believe that Apple will make an effort to move iPhone manufacturing to the U.S., saying CEO Tim Cook has his "eyes open to it."
Trump said he believes that Cook "loves this country, and I think he'd like to do something major here," he said in an interview with Axios. Domestic manufacturing has been a key issue for Trump, who last year called for a boycott of Apple while on the campaign trail, though that initiative proved short-lived.
Cook and a number of other tech leaders met with Trump in New York City last month. After the meeting the president-elect was said to have sat down privately with Apple's CEO and Tesla founder Elon Musk.
The details of those meetings remain a secret, but Cisco Chief Executive Chuck Robbins told Business Insider that the larger group discussed a number of issues including taxes, trade and immigration. Robbins characterized the meeting as "constructive," "interactive," and with "lots of laughs."
"I think everyone that walked in that room put behind them whatever their political views were during the election," Robbins said.
Cook explained his presence at the meeting to Apple employees soon after, saying he felt it necessary to attend — Â despite obvious political differences between Trump and Cook — Â in order to affect government policy. Issues cited by Cook include privacy, security, education, human rights, and the environment — Â all major issues where Cook and Apple's corporate policies are at odds with the incoming Trump administration's agenda.
As for manufacturing in the U.S., Trump has said he plans to create major incentives encouraging Apple to build iPhones in the U.S. He has promised a "very large tax cut" for corporations who bring jobs from overseas to America.
Trump's pledges have inspired a number of Apple manufacturing partners and component suppliers to explore their options for expanding operations in the U.S. Foxconn and its subsidiary Sharp, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Pegatron and others have expressed interest in taking advantage of business-friendly incentives from the Trump administration, though no commitments have been made.