Apple to keep making Mac Pro computers in the U.S.

After the Trump administration moved to shield it from steepened tariffs on Chinese imports, Apple will continue to make its pricey Mac Pro computers in the U.S.

The world’s largest technology company said Monday that it can continue assembling the device in Austin, Texas, where a contractor has made the Mac Pro on Apple’s behalf since 2013, after the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative last week exempted partially assembled circuit boards, graphic cards and other Chinese-made components from the tariffs. 

Apple said components for the professional-grade computer — with a sticker price of $6,000 — will be designed, developed and manufactured across more than a dozen American companies. 

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“The Mac Pro is Apple’s most powerful computer ever and we’re proud to be building it in Austin. We thank the administration for their support enabling this opportunity,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.  

In June, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was considering moving Mac Pro production — the last major product it assembles in the U.S. — to China in order to be closer to its suppliers.

Trump threatens new 10% tariffs on China

Apple has perhaps the greatest exposure to U.S.-Chinese trade relations. In August, it got a reprieve when the White House pushed back until December 15 a proposed 10% levy on phones and other electronic devices imported from China.  

Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives described Apple’s decision to keep Mac Pro production in the U.S. as a “poker move.”

“This is an example of smart and strategic balanced production from Apple and should be viewed as a move in good faith as we head into the December 15th possibility of the additional 10% tariff on the $300 billion of Chinese goods,” he said in a note. 

Apple is reportedly considering moving up to one-third of its production out of China to low-cost countries like India and Vietnam. That wouldn’t be easy, however — experts says that moving just 20% of its production out of Shenzhen on Chinas’ mainland near Hong Kong would take at least three years to execute.

Apple still manufactures its other top-selling products, like iPhones, iPads and MacBooks, in Shenzhen. The Mac Pro is not one of the company’s best-selling products, though it is one of the most expensive, starting at $6,000.

Apple CEO Tim Cook presents the new Mac Pro computer during Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference on June 3, 2019. Getty

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