US electronics manufacturer Apple has today announced a new fund to invest in manufacturing in the United States.
Announced by the company’s CEO Tim Cook, the fund will invest $1bn dollars in local manufacturing initiatives.
As well, Cook said that the first company which they would invest some of this money into had already been chosen, though the company itself has not been named.
He went on to say that Apple wanted to help set a new trend for companies returning manufacturing back to the US.
“…we can be the ripple in the pond. Because if we can create many manufacturing jobs around, those manufacturing jobs create more jobs around them because you have a service industry that builds up around them,” Cook said in an interview with CNBC.
While few details have been revealed by Apple as to the nature of the fund, and how it will choose where to invest, high tech job creation and reshoring seem to be its focus.
As well, Tim Cook also called on the Trump Administration to give tax breaks to companies which want to repatriate cash from overseas, in order to help them fund such manufacturing sector job creation initiatives.
PR stunt or long-term trend?
Apple is one of several companies which have in recent months announced major high-tech job creation initiatives in the US.
Amazon announced that it would create 100,000 jobs in the US over the next two years, while Intel pledged to invest $7bn in a chipmaking plant in Arizona.
From one perspective, this can simply be viewed as a PR strategy to cozy up to the new Trump Administration, which has singled out reshoring of jobs as a major focus.
However while this might be part of the motivation for companies like Apple, technological and economic changes are making this reshoring more attractive,
Wages in China have risen considerably, meaning that the cost savings this once afforded are now much reduced.
As well, new advances in automated manufacturing mean that many companies are choosing instead to rely on robotic productions lines much closer to home.