Apple seeks Mac Pro parts tariff exclusion after moving production to China from Texas

Mark Gurman and Mark Niquette report for Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. has asked the Trump administration to exclude components that make up the forthcoming Mac Pro high-end desktop computer from import tariffs, weeks after planning to re-locate production of the line to China from Texas.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is seeking relief from duties of 25% on key Mac Pro parts and accessories that go with it, ranging from the stainless steel and aluminum frame, power supplies, internal cables and circuit boards, and its optional wheels, according to filings posted by the Office of U.S. Trade Representative.

U.S. President Donald Trump has promised relief if companies can show that parts or products can only be obtained in China, aren’t “strategically important” to Chinese industrial programs, or that the duties would cause “severe economic harm.” Trump has tweeted that companies won’t face a tariff if they make their goods “at home in the USA.”

The new Mac Pro will be manufactured in China, a person familiar with the company’s plans said last month, shifting production of what had been Apple’s only major device assembled in the U.S. The previous design had been built in Texas since 2013.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple can likely show that many of the Mac Pro’s parts can only be obtained in China and aren’t “strategically important” to Chinese industrial programs along with the fact that product assembly is only a small part of the total cost of a product.

Regardless, on the face of it, given only a cursory glance, it’s a bad PR look in the U.S. for flush-with-cash Apple to be moving production from Texas to China while asking for a “tax break.” That’s how the average schmo on the street is going to see this.

29 Comments

  1. They should have moved that factory to China in 2014 but because Apple was terrified of ‘political blowback’ users had to wait for years for an update. Before people start flaming do some cursory research on the idiotic issues Apple had in that Texas factory which would never had happened in China. First they couldn’t get workers (“F–k me turn screws for hours a day at a bench. That’s a stupid ass f–k job” ) and then they couldn’t get parts. A report shows Apple couldn’t get special screws , then after having offered huge bounties for screws, the CEO (the CEO !) of the screw factory ‘hand delivered’ the screws in dozens of trips , in his LEXUS SEDAN.
    (Go Google it if you don’t believe me).

    Finally Apple had the balls to say ‘enough of this political correctness” and get this shit done and the new Mac Pro out.

    People should just Admit it : THERE ARE CERTAIN JOBS AMERICAN WORKERS AREN’T INTERESTED IN ( you know like picking fruit the hot sun) . But politicians keep flaming the flames.

    Article:
    “The United States faces a need for nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs over the next decade, and 2 million of those jobs are likely to go unfilled due to a skills gap, according to new research from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute.”

    CBS News 2019
    “As the economy roars ahead, blue-collar and lower-paid industries are having a tough time finding workers. They’re raising pay, sweetening perks and even doing away with requirements like drug testing in order to fill their openings. ”

    I know I’m going to get 1 million down votes but the truth is the truth.

    1. Your a jack ass. Apple didn’t design a new Mac Pro for years not because of any blowback because manufacturing was in the US. Apple didn’t didn’t design a new Mac Pro because they’re lazy and Johnny basically didn’t give a shit. You finally got to the point after years Tim Cook and company were tired of hearing about people whining about what a shit machine it is. That machine was overpriced garbage from day one.

      1. so if the delay was a Jonny problem why aren’t they building the new Mac Pro in USA?
        (did you check what i said about workers and supplies or do you just want to stick an jingoistic ostrich head into a hole?)

        yeah, i know I shouldn’t have posted because telling people the truth (e.g. there are factories looking for millions of workers ) blows up people’s ‘beliefs and myths’ and just gets people angry. Probably not worth it.

        Too many people for various reasons want to fan the myths.

        But regardless of how angry they get the truth is still Americans have moved away from those kinds of factory jobs.

        And don’t tell me wages are too low, go read how Jobs NEXT computers failed below,

        1. Actually wage differences between China and USA manufacturing for a Mac Pro which with needed RAM, drives would cost $10 to $50k would be relatively to the sale price minimal (maybe a couple hundred bucks per machine).

          that’s why originally they built the MP in USA and not cheaper machines where a few hundred bucks difference would be significant.

          the reason as I stated they can’t build in USA is that Americans don’t like those jobs and you can’t get suppliers (the Apple factory is just one part of a vast eco-system).

          1. “USA manufacturing for a Mac Pro “, the NEW MP that is.

            the older MP was cheaper so worker costs differences was relatively more significant. Lots of people comparing the Cylinder said the ‘bang for buck’ wasn’t worth it vs Asian HPs, Lenovo’s etc (go read the reviews).

    2. My first job after getting out of CYA was sharpening drill bits. My parole officer got me a job as I was ‘handicapped” for being on parole.

      The job was sharpening drill bits on the graveyard shift. I would set the machine specs for the bit and literally sit there for hours on end. Put in the drill. Watch it go through its cycles. Pull the drill out and inspect the drill while inserting another and positioning it correctly.

      Sometimes it would be 10,000 drill bits.

      Your comment reminded me of that.

  2. I hope Trump does NOT approve the tax exception for Apple. The only way the U.S. will ever have a chance to get some of these tech jobs back will be with a serious and long-term commitment from the very companies who moved to China. This must be led by the tech sector since that type of manufacturing skill is what we need for every industry now and in the future. We must educate our nation’s workers to do these jobs. Again, the tech titans must lead this effort.

    Most importantly, without these skills, our nation will eventually and rapidly become beholden to those nations possessing these skills. This is perhaps the biggest threat facing our nation and it is already upon us. This is such a huge national security threat that it is unimaginable we have let it happen. We are all guilty and allowed our desire for cheaper products (greed) to surplant our common sense and forethought.

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!!

    1. did you read The articles I quoted in my post?

      There are factories and openings for jobs, millions of them, and they can’t find workers.

      People can be jingoistic and hate Apple and corporations etc but it simply doesn’t change the facts that USA workers don’t want those jobs. Look at my quoted article , the corporations are so desperate they I willing to hire drug addicts.

      Seriously do YOU want to sit at a bench turning micro screws 8 hours a day? are you willing to work in shifts? etc

      Steve Jobs built NEXT computers in California. They had the best OS in the world (Nextstep became Os x that led to IOS ) And even with him , greatest salesman in the world, doing the marketing NEXT failed. They were expensive and Americans would rather buy Acers and Asus etc. Same with the Mac. Made in Asia cheap PCs almost killed it. American consumers regardless of patriotism. wants bang for buck and when Jobs returned to Apple he hired supply chain guy Cook from IBM-Compaq to fix the supply chain in China. The rest is history.

      Note did many Americans buy the CYLINDER Mac Pro because it was built in USA? or did they decide to buy the Asian made PC as better bang for buck? Did even the government like the Pentagon buy thousands of Mac Pros instead of made in Asia PCs or even the Congress etc now dissing Apple? NOPE.

      so like i said i’m going to get down voted but i’m just telling the truth.

      If people don’t face the truth they will never really solve the problem but actually cause more problems.

      1. There are factories and openings for jobs, millions of them, and they can’t find workers.

        And yet, the amazing part about real Capitalism is that its invisible hand tends to drive towards the “market correct” solution.

        What this means is that if an industry can’t find workers … to the magnitude of “millions” … then they’re very obviously not offering enough compensation to attract them.

        1. DID YOU ACTUALLY READ MY POST/

          like i said read what happened to Jobs NEXT computers and Americans love for ‘bang for buck’ , do you think they will go for ‘high wage manufacturing’

          I know people say ‘they will support it’ but business sales numbers trash the notion,

          Again did even the Pentagon ( or anybody else ) buy loads of made in USA Cylinders to support USA manufacturing?

          look at the rich businessmen turned politicians talking about American jobs , i bet their companies have hundreds of PCs, how many Cylinders did day did they buy?

  3. I personally hope it isn’t granted to Apple. The way their pricing these days it’s worse than ever they should pay the tariff. Many many people won’t be buying that machine anyway

    1. I personally hope it isn’t granted to Apple.

      I figure that the 25% is already baked in to the MSRP … and whatever relief that Apple gets (whole or partial) will just be pocketed as additional profits.

  4. Did any of those loudly complaining about apple moving actually buy a made in USA Mac Pro to support USA manufacturing. ?

    As a Mac Pro user myself (old cheese grater) i’ve read dozens of USA-reviews and articles and watched American videos of the Cylinder.. Many said it was bad value for the buck and none (NONE!) of them said “even though it is bad value we as a USA publication encourage you to BUY the Cylinder as it is made in the USA”. Instead we get American tech blogs and magazines and Youtube bloggers making fun of the Cylinder and showing it in videos being trashed by Asian HP etc PCs. What i’m saying there is zero ‘patriotism’ when Americans think of ‘bang for buck’ . You know I’m telling the truth. You can see countless articles and videos like that.

    1. note the publications that are now complaining about Mac Pro production moving back to China never in 6 years ever encouraged their readers to buy the Made-in- USA cylinder because ‘ it was made in USA’ . I bet their offices are filled with made in China PCs and not one Cylinder.

    2. “What i’m saying there is zero ‘patriotism’ when Americans think of ‘bang for buck’ .”

      I don’t think “patriotism” has anything to do with it. In our global economy “bang for the buck” RULES.

      No way I’m going to pay double for a pro computer not upgraded in over five years when I could buy a yearly updated PC TWICE twice as fast for HALF the cost with updated processors. Not fiscal responsible sense and just because it was made in America went out with the steady decline of labor union influence…

    1. China is divided into 23 provinces with 22 Communist controlled. State, Province what’s the difference. Yeah, congrats Apple for thumbing your nose at your home country all in the name of almighty greedy dollar in a Communist province lacking civil rights…

  5. The entire myth about “they do the work Americans don’t want to” is based on a lie of omission (much like the 97% of scientist agree on manmade global warming when it was in fact 97% of a few scientist who agreed on ONE report, BIG difference).

    Americans don’t want to do many of ‘those’ jobs FOR THE PRICE they pay illegals, which depresses other unskilled labor jobs with a ripple effect.

    But since the lie helps many business people and perpetuates the “lazy American” agenda then so many people are eager to sign on to it.

    If you don’t understand basic economics you will never understand this, and even if you do but are part of the crowd that gains from illegals then you will never admit it.

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