Apple CEO Tim Cook and President Donald Trump will reportedly tour facilities in Austin, Texas, where the company makes its Mac Pro desktops.
The trip would be part of Trump’s ongoing efforts to highlight U.S. manufacturing. Last month, Trump toured the Louis Vuitton factory in Alvarado, Texas.
Apple assembles the new Mac Pro in the same facility it has used for Mac Pro production since 2013. Previous rumors indicated assembly would move back to China after Apple lined up a deal with Quanta. However, Apple says it will keep Mac Pro manufacturing stateside as part of the company’s commitment to U.S. economic growth. The company is on track to invest $350 billion into its home country by 2023.
Apple has been petitioning the Trump administration to waive tariffs on various products imported from China. These include Apple Watches and assorted iPhone components. While Apple continues to explore manufacturing outside of China, this is not immediately feasible for all products.
Trump hopes to reach a partial trade deal with China very soon. However, on Friday he said he has not decided if this would involve removing tariffs.
Trump and Cook: A complex relationship
“The visit would allow Trump to tout his strong bond with Cook, after many CEOs resigned from a business advisory board in 2017 following Trump’s tepid response to violence at a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.”
Cook and Trump have had a mixed relationship ever since the president took office. Trump publicly praised Cook, hailing him as a “great executive.”
“He calls me, and others don’t,” Trump said, comparing Cook to other business leaders.
But Trump also criticizes Cupertino on occasion. At one point in his presidential campaign, Trump called for a boycott of Apple. Recently, Trump tweeted his criticism of the current iPhone UI.
Cook is a staunch Democrat. At one point, he was even considered as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. However, at least publicly, he has put aside differences with Trump to serve Apple’s best interests.
Neither Apple nor the White House has officially announced the Texas visit yet.