Apple Inc. (IW 500/2) plans to invest $1 billion in creating a fund to back advanced manufacturing companies in the U.S., Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook told CNBC in an interview.
The iPhone maker will announce the fund’s first investment later this month, Cook said Wednesday, without giving any further details.
“Those manufacturing jobs create more jobs around them because you have a service industry that builds up around them,” Cook said.
Last year Apple announced a $1 billion investment in Chinese Uber Technologies Inc. competitor Didi Chuxing, and in January said it will put a further $1 billion in Softbank Group Corp.’s new technology fund.
Apple, which has $257 billion in cash reserves, has doubled its research and development spending in the past four years as it seeks to reduce its dependence on suppliers for core technologies.
President Donald Trump is a vocal critic of American companies that outsource production to non-U.S. manufacturing facilities, and Apple supplier Foxconn Technology Group has said it’s considering building a display-making plant in the U.S. for more than $7 billion.
Apple has already invested in industrial automation technology with the Liam robot it unveiled last year. The robotic arm is intended for use in dismantling used iPhones in order that key components can be reused.
By Alex Webb