The desktop computer was the company’s only major product to be assembled in the U.S., but sources “familiar with the plan” say Apple has contracted Taiwan-based Quanta Computer Inc. to assist with a shift to overseas production. According to the WSJ’s information, Quanta Computer will use its facility outside Shanghai to keep Mac Pro assembly close to other Apple suppliers in Asia.
"Final assembly is only one part of the manufacturing process," an Apple spokesman told the WSJ, noting that the new Mac Pro model is designed and engineered in the U.S. and includes U.S.-made components.
The move makes it possible for Apple to lower shipping costs on the assembly process of the new $6,000 desktop. The last Mac Pro model, introduced in 2013, notably donned an “Assembled in the USA” stamp. At the time, CEO Tim Cook invested $100 million to fund operations at the Austin, Texas plant that made those Mac Pros.
At WWDC this year Apple revealed a complete overhaul of the Mac Pro. The new rendition of the desktop computer features more power and a radically different silver, rectangular look. The design may be one of the last engineered under design chief Jony Ive, who Apple announced Thursday will be exiting the company.
Apple’s decision comes amid escalated trade tensions between the Trump administration and China. Earlier this month, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) pushed through an increase in imports tariffs from 15 percent to 25 percent. Several technology companies have raised concerns about the impact higher tariffs will have on the retail costs of their products. Apple even asked in a letter to the USTR that its products be left out of the trade war.
In both today’s WSJ comment and the June 20th tariff letter, Apple mentioned the 2 million jobs the company has created across the US.