Apple announced it will contribute $350 billion to the U.S. economy over the next five years, thanks in part to new tax regulations, and will bring almost all of the $250 billion in profits it has stashed overseas back to the U.S.
But just how Apple plans to spend those dollars could be very telling—particularly if the company starts investing in infrastructure initiatives, according to Jeff Cunningham, professor of global leadership at Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Apple says that $75 billion of its contribution will go toward planned capital expenditures in the U.S., investments in American manufacturing and $38 billion in tax payments on repatriation of overseas cash. The company also expects to build a new corporate campus and create 20,000 jobs in the next five years.
“Politically, the emphasis on repatriating to the American economy is well known but is not the only factor. What the news media has missed is that the relationship between repatriating overseas profits and going local,” Cunningham told Chief Executive. “Apple and other high-tech companies are anxious to participate in the infrastructure build. Everyone assumes will happen once the government gets its spending act under control, particularly with the 2018 Congressional elections within shouting distance. This will provide multiple opportunities to Apple, whether it is self-driving cars or running entire grid systems in cities on AI.”
In the short-term, Apple plans on focusing its contribution on areas such as job creation.
“We believe deeply in the power of American ingenuity, and we are focusing our investments in areas where we can have a direct impact on job creation and job preparedness,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible.”
Apple said it expects to invest more than $30 billion in capital expenditures over the next five years and creating more than 20,000 new jobs through hiring at existing campuses and opening a new one. The company currently employs 84,000 workers.