Apple plans to join a small but growing number of companies that are bringing some manufacturing jobs back to the United States, drawn by the growing economic and political advantages of producing in their home market.
On Thursday, Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, who built its efficient Asian manufacturing network, said the company would invest $100 million in producing some of its Mac computers in the United States, beyond the assembly work it already does in the United States. He provided little detail about how the money would be spent or what kinds of workers might benefit.
Apple, which long manufactured parts in the United States but stopped about a decade ago, has been under pressure to create more jobs here given its market power. It sold 237 million iPods, iPads, Macs and other devices in the year ended in September.
“I don’t think we have a responsibility to create a certain kind of job,” Mr. Cook told Bloomberg Businessweek. “But I think we do have a responsibility to create jobs.”...
...Other computer manufacturing has been trickling back to the United States after largely shifting overseas in the 1990s.
In October, Lenovo, the computer giant based in China, said it would begin making its Think-branded computers, including notebooks, desktops and some tablets, at a facility in Whitsett, N.C. The move will create 115 manufacturing jobs at the plant, the company said.
Mark Stanton, director of global supply chain communications for Lenovo, said that moving the jobs to the United States would allow Lenovo to offer faster turnaround times for its customers in North America than if the machines were coming from overseas, and that the company was not specifically creating the American jobs because of any political pressure.
“We’re certainly not unaware of the economic situation and political environment,” he said. “It’s an added benefit, but we didn’t go in with that premise. We went in with a business case.”...
Not coincidentally, Ford recently announced that it was adding 1,200 jobs in Michigan, and foreign-owned auto manufacturers like Honda and Volkswagen have also invested in more hiring and training in Indiana and Tennessee...
...On Thursday, the White House said it was encouraging to see more big American companies bringing back manufacturing.
“Policy matters, and our country is pushing policies that encourage manufacturing, R.& D., infrastructure, skills and the support for growing supply chains,” said Gene Sperling, director of the president’s National Economic Council. “I think what you want is a mutually reinforcing cycle, where basic economic trends that make the U.S. more competitive for manufacturing and for creating supply chains is encouraged and supported by policies that recognize those location decisions have broader spillover impacts that benefit the economy beyond specific companies.”
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