How Apple CEO Tim Cook Charmed President Donald Trump
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How Apple CEO Tim Cook Charmed President Donald Trump

The trade war between the United States
and China has most big tech companies really worried about whether
tariffs could cut into their bottom lines. But one company was able
to thread the needle between a volatile American president and the
world’s biggest consumer market. More than any other tech leader, Apple
CEO Tim Cook has spent a lot of time charming the Trump administration,
and it seems to be paying off. President Donald Trump and Cook’s
relationship really started after Trump’s election win in 2016. Donald Trump took a few shots at
Apple during the campaign, but as soon as he was elected, he told
The New York Times in an interview, one of the people who called to
congratulate him was with Tim Cook. This is Kif Leswing, Tim Cook’s
office reaching out to Donald Trump, you know, saying congrats
on being the president. I hope we can work
together, kind of stuff. That’s how the
relationship started. So after Trump’s win, he called the
CEOs of several tech companies to meet at Trump Tower. Apple CEO Tim Cook was one of them. President Trump pulled together a lot
of business leaders w ith a surprising number of high
tech leaders there This is Jeff Sonnenfeld. He’s a senior associate dean
for leadership studies at Yale University’s School of Management. They all came. He
wasn’t yet president. He is president-elect. Most didn’t know him. Very few supported him. And that’s true of the U.S. business community in general, not
just Silicon Valley types. They still came,
which was interesting. Tim Cook used that as an
opportunity to start to forge a relationship. In a message to Apple
employees, Cook explained why he showed up to talk to
Trump despite supporting Hillary Clinton. According to TechCrunch, Cook wrote, ‘he
never found being on the sideline a successful place to be.’ And, ‘the way that you influence these
issues is to be in the arena.’ Since the meeting, Cook continued to
cultivate close ties with Trump and his family. The Apple CEO met
with Trump over dinner at his New Jersey golf course
twice since 2017. He’s attended state dinners hosted by the
president and he has a good relationship with the Ivanka and
Melania, according to White House officials. President Trump likes to break
bread with people and he relaxes over food and other
people relax over food. So it’s food and the golf course
and those kind of scenes that are ways that you get away from wearing
the formal uniforms and get off the pillars of office. In February 2019, Cook joined
the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, a group dedicated to
getting the unemployed into the workforce. And since 2017, Cook has been
a part of the White House Office of American Innovation, a
group focused on improving quality of life and spurring job creation. The boards are led by
Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Cook and Ivanka Trump even traveled
to an Idaho elementary school last November for a photo-op. Apple had donated iPads to all
the teachers and students in the district. This is really Tim
Cook working a personal relationship with Trump. And as different issues
unfolded, when Tim Cook wants to take a different position, say, on
climate change or on immigration policies, he’ll give a heads up
alert to the White House. And he’ll often do that through
Ivanka Trump or more often through Jared. But so far as I
know, there are no remote financial arrangements behind this. Apple claims it doesn’t engage in politics
and it doesn’t have a PAC, something Cook has
said shouldn’t exist. Most companies in Silicon Valley spend
quite a bit more in formal lobbying, whereas Apple spends very
little in formal lobbying. It has more than the personal
diplomacy rather than the K-Street bandit is working over
the White House. Nevertheless, Cook keeps in touch
with Trump, making calls and scheduling meetings
when appropriate. So he has Trump’s ear when
government policy collides with Apple’s corporate interests. The president says that Apple CEO Tim
Cook is a great executive, at least in part because Cook
calls him on the telephone. The only one that calls
me is Tim Cook. He calls me whenever
there’s a problem. He’ll call. That influence is about to
be put to the test as Apple applies for exclusions from a
new round of tariffs. Big American companies are caught in a
catch 22 when it comes to China. First, the United States has
about three hundred twenty nine million people. That makes it the third
most populous country on earth. China has about 1.3 billion people. That means in order to keep
growing, most American companies need access to Chinese consumers, and
for companies that rely on manufacturing, the situation is
even more thorny. It’s often cheaper to make or
assemble products in China and then ship them to a state like Ohio than
it is to make those products in Ohio in the first place. President Donald Trump’s trade war puts
those companies in a tight spot. In summer 2017, Trump unleashed
tariffs on billions of Chinese imports. Now, after more than a
year of back and forth tariffs between the U.S. and China,
companies making consumer tech hardware, like Apple, are going to get
hit with tariffs if the U.S. and China can’t close on
a new trade deal. So Apple has become the poster child
for the trade war for two main reasons. One, they get a substantial
amount of their sales from mainland China. So as a market and
having access to the market, that is critical for Apple. But there’s a double whammy here,
because Apple also does the majority of its production
in China as well. And through its production partners,
including Foxconn, you know, they employ millions of
people in China. New tariffs went into effect on September
1st, 2019 in those hit some Apple products. And now Apple
is asking the administration for exclusions from that
round of tariffs. But in the meantime, the
United States Trade Representative Office has also already delayed some of
the tariffs on certain consumer items until December 15th. 2019. The delay included cell
phones, computers, video game consoles, some clothing products and certain toys,
which Trump said was decided to help consumer spending
during the holiday season. For Apple, the December 15th tariffs means
a 15 % tax on Chinese imports, which would force Apple to
either raise prices or accept lower margins on core products
sold in the U.S.- Think iPhones and MacBooks. They’re very anxious that they get a
carve out if there are tariffs against products produced in China, because
that’s where most of the Apple phone production is still. They have very effectively explained to
President Trump that he would be helping Samsung. The federal government now has to
decide whether Apple gets another tariff exemption on core products. Cook has already appealed to Trump,
even though the decision will be made by a trade representative. Tim was talking to
me about tariffs. And, you know, one of the things that
he made a good case is that Samsung is the number one competitor
and Samsung is not paying tariffs because they’re based
in South Korea. And it’s tough for Apple to
pay tariffs if they’re competing. Now, the problem was that
Samsung, a competitor, good competitor, wouldn’t be paying tariffs and Tim Cook
would have got to help him out short -term with that problem,
because it’s a great American company. Samsung is in South Korea. Not fair. At the beginning of
the trade war, Apple seemed confident it could avoid tariffs. In a June 2018 interview, Cook
said he didn’t believe the iPhone would get hit. The New York
Times reported his confidence came from the assurances within
the Trump administration. If you listen to what Tim Cook
has to say about the whole U.S.-China trade relations, he is very carefully
dancing around that core topic of saying, look, these two
economies are intricately linked together. We have to come to a resolution. This is not good for
China or the U.S., that is good for Samsung, which
has its production elsewhere in Asia. But the December 15th tariffs
could be worse for Apple. It’s really important for Apple to
protect that supply chain in China in addition to just
selling iPhones there. When Trump signed his tax reform
bill in December 2017, Apple repatriated hundreds of billions in overseas
cash and a lower tax rate, saving the company an estimated
27 billion dollars in taxes. A month later, Apple announced its
plans to pay thirty eight billion dollars in taxes. Apple detailing how to accelerate
its pace of U.S. investments and job creation, saying it’s
going to make a 350 billion dollar contribution to the U.S. economy over the next five years. Trump got wind of Apple’s plans
and tweeted on January 17th 2018. I promised that my policies would
allow companies like Apple to bring massive amounts of money back
to the United States. Two weeks later, Trump cited Apple in
his first State of the Union speech. Apple has just announced it plans
to invest a total of three hundred and fifty billion dollars in
America and hire another twenty thousand workers. Besides one small factory in Ireland,
Apple doesn’t own and operate any of its manufacturing. Instead, it contracts with manufacturers
who assemble the company’s products and most of
them are in China. Tim Cook has been the architect of,
under Steve Jobs his era, of taking manufacturing out
of the U.S. and and outsourcing it to China,
to Foxconn and others in China. Foxconn, of course, which is a
Taiwanese company, but it’s located so much of the manufacturing
in the mainland. Meanwhile, Trump has focused on getting
Apple to make its products in the U.S. He’s always been
about American manufacturing, so he’s criticized Apple a few times over
its practice of doing the vast majority of its
manufacturing in China. You got to start
doing it over here. And you really have . I mean,
you’ve really put a big investment in our country. We appreciate
it very much. Trump telling The Wall Street Journal
that Apple CEO Tim Cook has committed to building three big manufacturing
plants here in the U.S. Earlier this year, Apple announced a
new version of the Mac Pro. In September, the company announced it
would assemble them in Austin, Texas, after it received tariff exemptions on
10 of the 15 parts it needed to assemble the machine. Cook said in a statement we
thank the administration for their support enabling this opportunity. Steve Jobs would have been a
horrible CEO in this moment because think about what he would have to
deal kowtowed to both Beijing and Trump. Can you picture in a
million years Steve Jobs threading the needle in the way
that Tim Cook has. He literally is in a position
where Chinese carriers are the lifeline for his business in the second
biggest economy in the world. And they manufacturer a lot
of the phones there. He has to live with that
reality while simultaneously convincing Mad Dog Trump that he’s going to hire
more people and build more things here. And he’s done
it incredibly well. Like, could you imagine Steve
Jobs pulling that off? I really can’t. So maybe what was
needed right now is not this beacon of innovation. Maybe it’s competence
and logistical savvy and calmness. And that is what Tim
Cook has brought to the table. That’s why he’s added about six
hundred billion dollars in market cap to this company. Cook, for the most part, has been
able to steer away from Trump’s public attacks. President tweeted about his
new iPhone quote to Tim, The button on the iPhone was
far better than the swipe. Despite Trump’s iPhone critique, Sonnenfeld
says Cook has found the perfect combination when it comes
to his relationship with President Trump. Well, it’s a
perfect recipe for Apple. I don’t know that it’s a perfect
recipe for the nation, but it works for him. What Cook does is he
retains a seat at the table. He presses, you know, what he thinks
he is or what Apple’s point of view on the policy is. And, you know, on those on the
stuff that he disagrees with Trump, he makes his point known on that. He’s issued companywide memos on
the Paris Accords and various immigration related policy moves
from the Trump administration. But he never he
never makes it personal. There was an opportunity to humiliate
the president in one of these advisory council meetings. You may remember he turned to Tim
Cook and referred to him as Tim Apple. We appreciate it
very much, Tim Apple. And then on his Twitter icon
is Tim Cook replaced his name with an apple. Now that was ambiguous. There are ways where you could see
that he was maybe having a little bit of a spoof with the president,
but the president and others could see that he was making fun of
himself and somehow it diffused the situation pretty effectively. In part because of situations like
this, Cook has cultivated what Sonnenfeld calls personal respect, and
that’s what has helped him avoid negative criticism
from the president. Tim Cook was quick to see that he
doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of public attacks
from President Trump. And there must be a way you can
talk with him privately when you have issues. And he’s found that
pipeline both through one-on-one discussions, not using collective action,
not using lobbyists, but President Trump, the personal respect is
very important to him, and he’ll show that respect. In order to cultivate that personal
respect, Cook has met with Trump face-to-face, which Sonnenfeld says is
how Trump prefers to do business. He likes to meet in person,
and he has a, despite the anger at these rallies and the language
that’s used and what people will talk about the divisiveness,
on one-on-one sessions. He can be disarmingly charming
and he knows that. And Tim Cook responds to that. I don’t know how charming Tim Cook is,
but I think he’s a very good listener and he doesn’t
have a personal agenda. There’s no grandiosity or
egomania of Tim Cook.

About Earl Carter

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100 thoughts on “How Apple CEO Tim Cook Charmed President Donald Trump

  1. This just shows you that Trump cares about US companies and knows what he is doing.

    He is bringing jobs back to the mainland so that more people can have a well paying job and wages will grow because of that.

    This video even gave me a reason to start investing in apple since they are gonna open 3 manufacturing plants here which is gonna drive the stock price up, also giving them a break from tarrifs so that people can have confidence in buying apple products this December which also drives the stock price up.

    Once USMCA best passed you'll see China shaking and wanting to make a deal.

    They just need to stop stealing intellectual property and we are good.

    No more counterfeit products being built in China because that is hurting our companies like Nike for example.

    Also I don't like Samsung phones… The ones I've had have been bad and everyone I know who's had a galaxy runs into the same problems…

    Never owned an iPhone, I have a Razer phone but maybe some day I might make the switch.

  2. “Ivanka and Jared traveled for a photo opp” – oh come on CNBC… we get it, you don’t like the Trumps. But let’s not pretend all these democrat runners don’t go to black communities, poor schools, certain organizations for “photo opps”

  3. And so? The Left wants everything American destroyed anyway. They want Chinese made products because you know it's cheap even if it's not nearly as good as US does.

  4. All the butt licking by Tim cook is to distract ppl from his uninnovative apple products.
    Tim cook is a total noob

  5. Have to say Tim is a smart businessman, see Trump has put these taxes not to purposely hit American business but to protect America by reducing balance of trade

  6. Tim Cook: But the dictatorship of China gives me worker slaves… will you let use chinese worker slaves to make me rich Mr. Trump?

  7. The worst people in America colluding to increase their power and wealth. This is the illuminati and its like nobody cares all of a sudden. Wonder why

  8. Good on President Trump and Tim Cook – why apple products are not built in the U.S. is disappointing…. it’s not like you’re not paying through the nose for them anyway? I’d be happier knowing designed in California and built in U.S. too.

    Profits might need to take a hit but they’re making a killing with them and think of the investment to the country 👍🏻 (and this is coming from an Englishman)

  9. Apple already makes so much money on their phones, but tariffs would be another excuse for them to raise their prices.

  10. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, reaaaaaaaally–righhhhhhhhhhht.

    The "secret societies'" ( skull and bones, illuminati…) hidden/ very guarded/ not spoken of initiation rites/rituals basically consist of GROTESQUE actions one does that are documented and recorded for which they can FOREVER be blackmailed! These rites/rituals vary from the grossest to the most perverse! Then as time goes on – more and more drink , drugs, $$$ and perversions are encouraged and GIVEN which results in MORE and MORE blackmailable material available then they WILL comply with the craziest orders thereafter, and when their usefullness has waned they are suicided.

    Just look and you will see hundreds of these WHACKOS! The media presents/fawns over/uses MANY but also does NOT dare talk of certain ones! Maybe the chiefs/editors ARE some?????

    They are always "kept close" YET at a sufficient distance for "plausible deniability" – J. Epstein, J. Saville, A. Edward….

    They sell their souls for $$$, drugs, drink and the ADDICTIVE perversions that control their minds!

  11. Communists do know that A strong America is a biggest enemy for them, so, destroy the United States is their final target. they are luck that there are many allies within America, leftist, radical democrats, liberals…… and they are work hard for this target!

  12. Apple+Trump= gangs/ Mafia…
    NATO+Trump= assassination
    ARABS+Trump = scams …

    Anything+ Trump = crime …

  13. Tim has failed Apple. The products are crap. Tim should be removed as CEO and Apple find an innovator who can follow in the foot steps of the founder of Apple. The Man, Steve Jobs.

  14. All media outlets should show excerpts from A WARNING by ANONYMOUS – the details are a horrifying description of the UNFIT person you have placed into the most powerful position in the world! America – Clean up your MESS!

  15. This is infuriating!!!!! Why should my 40 year old family business be forced to pay tariffs when Apple doesn’t ???? I also have competitors that manufacture outside China (not USA). This is CRAZY!!! Was a trump supporter but not any more!!!!!

  16. So over a billion people is not enough? LOL did you ever see the movie Soylent Green. That is actually the future of this Earth if you people keep advocating more population and more population. We don't need more people on this Earth we need less people on this Earth. Can't you see this Earth is dying the animals have nowhere to go anymore. You are overpopulating this Earth to its death. Are you people insane? Really?

  17. As much as I love Apple, I am an Apple head, I do not think they should get an exclusion. Let's be fairly honest, Apple charges premium pricing for all of their devices, they are one of the richest companies in the United States, but they are worried about paying taxes? In an interview Tim Cook mentioned that there are no tool and dye workers in the United States…umm…ok, how about you bring some of those jobs back here?? if Apple really wanted to make change in the USA they'd make an agreement to being certain jobs back to the USA and in turn receive either federal/local/state tax cuts for true investment in the tech industry, I'm sorry. Tim Cook is playing everyone like a fiddle. Then they worry about getting their intellectual property stolen by the Chinese? Really bro? Again, no, sorry. Tim Cook should really think twice bout the Apple brand, they aren't doing anything really spectacular anymore. What would be spectacular is if all iPhone/iPad/MacBooks said "designed in California, assembled in USA or any (One) of the 50 states honestly… #RantOver

  18. What Tim did is ignore American Media and found that the President is very approachable if you elect to work with the interests of the nation by bringing back jobs…it's not difficult or even clever, just sensible pragmatism. Why would any american CEO not want to see his nation prosperous… The options are pay the taxes or spend it growing business at home. It was wrong to take it offshore and there is high chinese political risk running it offshore because he can't control it…and he has woken up…

  19. Apple tim cook….smh shame
    Fake friends I'm sure trump knows this. Let's see how they use each other.

    Simple apple if you want to not have tariffs make it in USA.

    Automation then you are a fken tech company. Do it and hire more Tech people stupid.

    It's funny South Korea isnt a cheap place to live yet samsung based in korea and employs alot of their own people.

    Apple the traitor outsources most of their employees to china.

    Apple let's see how much jobs are created here.

  20. So there is no free market and capitalism, there is indirect subsidizing Apple to compete with Samsung. Wasn't Boeing fighting Airbus regarding subsidies?
    There is no equality. There is who has more power.

  21. Trump can’t fight tarrifs from China 🇨🇳 just admitted trump back away from tarrifs from China and also Mexico he back away becuse it would hurt USA economy . Trump is stupid . USA lower their tarrifs on aluminum and mexico from Mexico and Canada only those things why oh why did USA do these cause the USA uses slot of metal and aluminum it would be rediculous if they put a high price on mexican metal and aluminum trump not stupid and Mexico and Canada know these is the reason it would cause the USA a lot of money since USA uses metal to make skyscrapers and guess who makes skyscrapers trump . It would cost more to build skyscrapers if tarrifs on metal and aluminum are place . Trump not stupid and neither is Mexico and canada or China they know it could in the end hurt USA . Trump is sort of stupid trying to make war when he knows he needs exports some of it .

  22. So the US tax payer will pay Apple through tax exemptions, it's subsidies, just with another name. So much for free market and capitalism. It's similar to communism 🙂

  23. Cook is a hypocrite. Always talking about giving his money away to the less fortunate after paying for his "nephew's college tuition" yet still tries to rig the system and avoid having his $1 trillion company pay taxes, for his own personal gain. Sad.

  24. Charmed? My ass!

    Tim and Wall Street have been bribing and browbeating Trump to cave into China at the Communist Chinese government's behest. The Chinese government has turned Wall Street, Tim Cook, Apple, Michael Bloomberg, and the rest of the neoliberal crowd into traitors/Communist assets. Screw every one of these sycophantic traitors.

  25. We never sees the influences of those "Mascots"on Trump, but always the influences of Trump on the "Mascots", when Trump is tired of playing with them…he just throw them away. Steve Jobs was looking for smart guys…Tim apple is looking for crooks.
    Bye bye Apple! Good news for Korean & Japanese companies when they sell the Chinese products with their own name…

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