Apple’s decision to pay a huge repatriation tax, to pay employees a $2,500 stock bonus, and to invest $350 billion in capital spending in the United States in the next five years should be a clear win for the company, its employees and for the American economy. Not as certain is who might get credit for any victories.
No friend of President Donald Trump and his immigration bans, Apple CEO Tim Cook nevertheless gave due credit to Republicans’ tax-cut bill as he explained the reasons behind Apple’s blockbuster announcement this week.
“Let me be clear,” he told ABC News when asked about whether Apple’s announcements were directly related to the tax plan. “There are large parts of this that are a result of the tax reform, and there’s large parts of this we would have done in any situation.”
Trump quickly took credit in any event. “I promised that my policies would allow companies like Apple to bring massive amounts of money back to the United States,” the president tweeted on Wednesday. “Great to see Apple follow through as a result of TAX CUTS. Huge win for American workers and the USA!”
“The move by Apple is great for our country and great for job creation.”
Apple was a frequent target of attacks by Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign for not making staple products such its iPhones and Macs in the United States.
But Cook also made a point to credit other motivations for Apple’s move to contribute $350 billion to the U.S. economy through paying a one-time tax of $38 billion as it brings back the vast majority of overseas cash holdings that are estimated as high as $250 billion; investing $30 billion more in capital spending in the U.S.; building a new domestic campus; creating 20,000 jobs; and paying the stock bonus.
“We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who make our success possible,” Cook said with the announcement.
Credit-taking aside, business leaders hailed Apple’s moves – the latest in a flurry of business-investment announcements by major companies since signing of the tax-cut bill – as an important boon for America’s economic prospects.
“The move by Apple is great for our country and great for job creation,” Mark Hogan, a member of Toyota Motor Corp.’s board of directors, told Chief Executive. Toyota has been one of the biggest corporate investors in American resources in recent years, including a new North American headquarters building in Plano, Texas, and a just-announced plant that Toyota will build a new car-assembly plant with Mazda in Alabama.
Larry Gigerich, managing director of Ginovus, an economic-development advisory firm headquartered in Fishers, Ind., told Chief Executive that “the overall potential impact” from Apple’s decision “is another positive sign and statement. With tax reform and the ability for Apple, in particular – with one of the largest amounts of money stashed overseas – could be significant.”