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Apple CEO Tim Cook and President Donald Trump shake hands during a tour of an Apple manufacturing plant in Austin. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) Apple CEO Tim Cook and President Donald Trump shake hands during a tour of an Apple manufacturing plant in Austin. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Apple CEO Tim Cook and President Donald Trump shake hands during a tour of an Apple manufacturing plant in Austin. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Madlin Mekelburg
By Madlin Mekelburg November 21, 2019

Did Trump open a 'major Apple Manufacturing plant' in Austin? No.

After a brief visit to Austin on Wednesday, President Donald Trump shared a tweet taking credit for opening an Apple Inc. manufacturing plant in the city.

Trump toured a facility that manufactures Apple computers during his stop in Austin with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump.

"Today I opened a major Apple Manufacturing plant in Texas that will bring high paying jobs back to America," Trump said in a tweet after departing the city. "Today Nancy Pelosi closed Congress because she doesn’t care about American Workers!"

In reality, the plant he toured has been manufacturing Apple’s Mac Pro computers for nearly six years. The tech giant considered shifting operations to China earlier this year but decided to stay put after receiving federal tariff exemptions.

Also: Pelosi did not close Congress on Wednesday. The House approved a bill outlining U.S. support for activists in Hong Kong; and House lawmakers continued their impeachment hearings.

The White House and Apple did not return requests for comment.

Apple in Austin

Apple has had a presence in Austin since 1992, and recent investments have turned the Texas capital into the company’s largest hub outside of its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

As Trump toured the production plant on Wednesday, Apple started construction on its $1 billion corporate campus in Austin, the latest expansion in the city.

The campus will house a number of company operations, including engineering, research and development, operations, finance, sales and customer support, according to the Austin American-Statesman. It is expected to open in 2022 and have 5,000 employees.

During his trip to Austin, Trump did not visit the new location nor will it be a manufacturing plant. 

Mac Pro in Austin

Apple has produced its Mac Pro desktop computers in Austin since 2013 at the Flextronics Americas factory in Northwest Austin.

The computer has always been designed and engineered in California, and its components are produced in different states and other countries. Final assembly of the product happens in Austin, according to the company.

In June, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple would move the manufacturing of its new Mac Pro models from Austin to China, citing capacity challenges at the Austin plant. 

Another concern for the tech company was the Trump administration’s proposed tariffs on Chinese goods, which were expected to affect imports of certain materials needed for the Mac Pro.

The company asked the Trump administration in July to exclude from the tariffs components needed for its "completely redesigned" Mac Pro, according to Bloomberg.

Days later, Trump shut down the request in a tweet: "Apple will not be given Tariff waiver, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China. Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!" 

But in September, the U.S. trade representative agreed to grant the exemption, and Apple announced that it would continue to use the Austin facility for Mac Pro assembly.

The facility has about 500 workers and has been the company's only major device assemblage operation in the United States, according to Bloomberg. Most of Apple's products are produced and assembled in China. 

Our Ruling

Trump said: "Today I opened a major Apple Manufacturing plant in Texas that will bring high paying jobs back to America." 

The Flextronics plant in Austin that Trump toured on Wednesday has produced Mac Pro computers since 2013.

Earlier this year, Apple planned to shift assembly of the computer from Austin to China, but decided to keep operations in Austin after the Trump administration agreed to exemptions on import tariffs on goods from China needed for the computer.

We rate this claim False.

Our Sources

Twitter, Donald Trump, Nov. 21, 2019

Austin American-Statesman, Trump takes credit for opening Apple manufacturing plant in Austin, Nov. 20, 2019

Austin American-Statesman, Trump tours Apple manufacturing plant in Austin, Nov. 20, 2019

Austin American-Statesman, Report: Apple moving Mac Pro production out of Austin, June, 28, 2019

Austin American-Statesman, Apple says Mac Pro manufacturing will remain in Austin, Sept. 23, 2019

Austin American-Statesman, Apple plans new $1 billion Austin campus, 5,000 more jobs, Dec. 13, 2018

Austin American-Statesman, Apple expands ahead of new $1 billion Austin campus, May 17, 2019

Austin American-Statesman, Apple confirms Mac Pro production has started in Austin, Dec. 18, 2013

Apple, Apple expands in Austin, Nov. 20, 2019

Apple, Apple’s new Mac Pro to be made in Texas, Sept. 23, 2019

Bloomberg, Apple Seeks Mac Pro Parts Tariff Exclusion After Move to China, July 23, 2019

The New York Times, U.S. Bill Supporting Hong Kong Rights Heads to Trump’s Desk, Nov. 20, 2019

The New York Times, Key Moments From Sondland, Cooper and Hale Testimony, Nov. 20, 2019

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Did Trump open a 'major Apple Manufacturing plant' in Austin? No.

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