- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 4, 2017

Apple is launching a $1 billion fund to create advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S., CEO Tim Cook announced Wednesday.

“We asked ourselves, ‘How can we get more people to do advanced manufacturing in the Unites States?’ And I’m proud to tell you that we’re creating an advanced manufacturing fund,” Mr. Cook told CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer.

“We’re initially putting $1 billion dollars in the fund,” he said. “We’re announcing it today, so you’re the first person I’m telling. Well, not the first person because we’ve talked to a company that we’re going to invest in already.

“$1 billion of our U.S. money, which we have to borrow to get — that’s another whole topic — but we’re really proud to do it,” he continued. “By doing that, we can be the ripple in the pond. Because if we can create many manufacturing jobs around, those manufacturing jobs create more jobs around them because you have a service industry that builds up around them.”

Mr. Cook said the company will announce the first investment from the fund later this month.

“We’re really proud of this,” he added.

The fund comes as President Trump makes bringing manufacturing jobs to the U.S. a central part of his “America First” agenda. Asked if he is willing to work with Mr. Trump on getting some of his company’s goals accomplished, Mr. Cook stressed the need for the president to address the repatriation of cash held overseas.

Ninety-three percent of Apple’s $256.8 billion cash is held overseas, CNBC reported.

“To invest in the United States, we have to borrow. This doesn’t make sense on a broad basis,” Mr. Cook said. “I think that repatriation — actually, I think that comprehensive tax reform is so important to this economy.

“I think the administration … they’re really getting this and want to bring this [money] back and I hope that that comes to pass,” he said.

He said that as is the case with every government, the company might disagree with the Trump administration on some policies, specifically immigration, but that shouldn’t hinder their dialogue.

“With each administration in every country in the world, there are things you disagree and things you agree, and you look to find common ground and look to influence the things you don’t,” the CEO said. “If you don’t show up, I think that’s the worst scenario.”

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