Should Apple Make Its Products In The U.S.?


Foxconn Factory

The New York Times on Sunday published a provocative piece asking whether Apple has an obligation to make its products at home in the U.S.

The article describes how, in 2007, just before the iPhone hit stores, Steve Jobs angrily discovered that its screen was easily scratched. He ordered the plastic screens be immediately replaced with scratch-proof glass ones.

New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.

“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”

The Times notes that General Motors in its heyday employed 400,000 U.S. workers. Apple employs 43,000 people in the United States and 20,000 overseas. An additional 700,000 workers build and assemble Apple’s products, mostly in China.