Apple is seeking tax breaks from the U.S. government for domestic chip production, which suggests Apple may be aiming to move more iPhone manufacturing to the United States.
According to Bloomberg, second and third-quarter lobbying disclosure reports indicate that Apple lobbied officials from the Treasury Department, Congress, and the White House on tax issues that included “tax credits for domestic semiconductor production.”
Apple designs many of its own chips, including the A-series chips used in iPhones and iPads and the Apple Silicon chips that will be used in future Macs. Development of chips is done in-house in Cupertino, but production is outsourced to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
Apple’s lobbying efforts indicate that it perhaps wants to move production to the U.S., where it would not have to deal with tariffs and trade tensions between the United States and China.
Apple’s recent lobbying coincides with a push by the company and its partners to move some production away from China and even back to the U.S. in a few cases. There’s also a broader effort by the U.S. semiconductor industry to get government support for increased domestic production.
Apple veteran and director of federal government affairs Tim Powderly is leading Apple’s lobbying efforts, according to Bloomberg. Apple’s prior policy exec, Cynthia Hogan, left the company in May after being selected as one of the members of Joe Biden’s vice presidential selection committee.
Most Apple products are made overseas, but the 2013 Mac Pro was manufactured in Austin, Texas. The same Texas plant is also responsible for the final assembly of the new Mac Pro models, and Apple decided to use the plant after being provided with tariff exemptions.
Apple chip partner TSMC in May announced plans to open an advanced chip factory in Arizona, and once that plant is open, it is expected to produce 5-nanometer chips. Apple’s most recent A-series devices use A14 chips built on a 5-nanometer process.
Apple in 2018 committed to spending $350 billion to boost the U.S. economy over the course of five years, and has contributed funds to U.S. companies that make iPhone components, including Corning and Finisar.
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