Apple’s Coming Back America

Apple’s announcement that it will shift some of its production back to the United States hopefully will encourage other companies to follow suit – even if Apple’s move is mostly a symbolic step.

“Anything that Apple does, from design to manufacturing, is hugely influential,” said Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired magazine and now CEO of San Diego-based 3D Robotics. “Other companies could look at this and say, “If Apple can do it, so can I.’ ”

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in recent interviews that his company, which currently does most of its production in China, would invest $100 million to bring some of its Macintosh manufacturing back to the U.S. next year.

Apple’s move isn’t surprising. It follows a continuing pattern of American companies bring manufacturing back to the USA due to rising labor, supply and production costs in China.

Apple’s move may not generate many more new factory jobs since tech manufacturing today is so automated. The easiest way for Apple to jumpstart production here would be to contract with its existing Chinese manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group — which already has two production facilities in the U.S. — and build another facility to assemble Macs. The approach could be similar to what Japanese automakers have done when they’ve come to the U.S., bringing in Japanese management and high-skilled Japanese workers to train American workers.

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