SAN FRANCISCO — Apple will manufacture a new version of its Mac Pro computer in China, shifting production of the only major product the company has assembled in the United States outside the country, a person familiar with the plans said on Friday.
The move, reported on Friday by The Wall Street Journal, will most likely draw the ire of President Trump, who has pressed Apple to shift more of its manufacturing to the United States amid a continuing trade war with China. The person familiar with Apple’s plans was not authorized to discuss them publicly.
Mr. Trump, who is scheduled to meet with President Xi Jinping of China on Saturday at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, said during the 2016 campaign, “We’re gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries.”
The Mac Pro, a high-end desktop computer that sells for $6,000, accounts for a small portion of Apple’s overall sales, but it is a rare example of an American technology company trying to do more manufacturing in the United States.
Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, went on prime-time television in 2012 to announce that the company would make a Mac computer in the United States, the first Apple product in years to be manufactured by American workers. The top-of-the-line Mac Pro, built in a facility in Austin, Tex., would come with the inscription: “Assembled in USA,” Mr. Cook said.
The production of high-tech products is a key element of the current trade tensions between the United States and China. The fight has put Apple, in particular, in an awkward position because China is also one of the biggest markets for products like its iPhone.
Apple said in a statement that assembly was just one step in a broad production process that creates jobs in a number of countries. The company said it had worked with manufacturing facilities in 30 states and that it had spent $60 billion with over 9,000 suppliers across the United States last year.
“Like all of our products, the new Mac Pro is designed and engineered in California and includes components from several countries including the United States,” the statement said. “Final assembly is only one part of the manufacturing process.”
The Mac Pro has been a slow seller, and Apple had not updated it since introducing it in 2013.
In December, Apple announced that it would add up to 15,000 workers in Austin, just miles from the Mac Pro plant. None of the new jobs are expected to be in manufacturing.
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