Apple CEO Tim Cook was reportedly “most helpful” during his White House meeting with President Donald Trump earlier this week. Cook was enthusiastic about the Trump administration’s recent tax cuts, and also had some advice about business dealings in China.
“I really enjoyed the meeting,” Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, told CNBC’s Squawk on the Street. “I spent a good amount of time with [Cook], and then we came back and we visited the POTUS.”
“[Tim Cook] loves the tax cut and tax reform,” Kudlow continued. “He said it’s great for business. And Apple is going to be building plants, campuses, adding jobs, lots of business investment. That was the first point he made to President Trump.”
The Apple boss also reportedly made some advisory comments concerning an upcoming meeting with Chinese officials — although it’s not clear what these were. “He has a lot of experience in China, obviously,” Kudlow said. “He was very helpful in making some suggestions.”
A complex relationship with Donald Trump
Cook has enjoyed a mixed relationship with Donald Trump since the latter became president. Earlier this year, Trump singled out Apple during his State of the Union address, describing it as one of the companies to have benefitted from new Republican tax plans.
Shortly following the implementation of the tax law, Apple gave all its employees $2,500 worth of restricted stock. Trump applauded Apple’s moves on Twitter, saying, “Great to see Apple follow through as a result of TAX CUTS. Huge win for American workers and the USA!”
However, the two have clashed as well. During Trump’s presidential race, he suggested boycotting Apple products due to Cupertino’s privacy standoff with the FBI. Apple also ramped up its lobbying spend last year, spending $7 million to battle many of the immigration-related regulations proposed by the Trump administration.
When it comes to China, Apple has had plenty of often tough dealings with the Chinese government. Earlier this year, it had to move iCloud data in the country to a data center operated by a local Chinese company, sparking security fears.
Most recently, Apple was spared from being hit by a 25 percent tariff the Trump administration is slapping on tech products coming from China, where Apple assembles many of its devices. iPhone components were exempt from the list, while other devices like flat-panel television sets were penalized.
Tim Cook’s meeting with Donald Trump came the day after Cook attended Trump’s first state dinner, alongside Apple VP Lisa Jackson.