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CEO Cook: 'Skill' Is Why Apple Products Made in China

CEO Cook: 'Skill' Is Why Apple Products Made in China
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 23 December 2015 08:46 AM

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook contends that the company’s products are made in China because workers there are more highly skilled than their global colleagues.

“It’s skill,” Cook said in response to a question on CBS' “60 Minutes” from Charlie Rose as to why the company’s products are made in China.

Rose also pressed Cook on the issue. “They have more skills than American workers? They have more skills than German workers?” he pressed.

"Let me be clear," Cook said. "China put an enormous focus on manufacturing, in what you and I would call vocational kind of skills,” he said. “The U.S., over time, began to stop having as many vocational kind of skills,” Cook explained.

“I mean, you can take every tool and die maker in the United States and probably put them in a room that we’re currently sitting in. In China, you would have to have multiple football fields.”

Tool and die makers build and operate tools used in manufacturing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there were about 75,950 tool and die makers in the US in May 2014.

According to the "60 Minutes," about 1 million people in China — many of them working for the huge Apple contractor Foxconn — make most Apple products.

In the same interview, Cook emphatically rejected accusations that the world's richest company is sidestepping U.S. taxes by keeping bundles of cash overseas, suggesting that the claim was politically motivated.

Cook dismissed as "total political crap, there is no truth behind" the notion that the tech giant was avoiding taxes, Reuters reported.

Cook's remarks come amid a debate in the United States over corporations avoiding taxes through techniques such as so-called inversion deals, where a company redomiciles its tax base to another country.

Apple saves billions of dollars in taxes through subsidiaries in Ireland, where it declares much of its overseas profit. "Apple pays every tax dollar we owe," Cook said.

World leaders last month approved a crackdown on tax avoidance by multinationals such as Apple, Google and McDonald's, major firms whose rock-bottom tax bills have provoked widespread outrage in the United States and beyond, AFP reported.

Cook argued that Apple pays the biggest tax tab in the United States and that it keeps more money overseas than other company because two-thirds of its business is there.

Cook laid the blame on an outdated U.S. tax code, calling for it to be revamped for modern times. "This is a tax code that was made for the Industrial Age, not the Digital Age," Cook said. "It's backwards. It's awful for America."

The animated response from Cook followed Rose contending that many members of Congress believe Apple is perpetuating a scheme to pay little or no taxes on $74 billion in overseas revenue.

"I'd love to bring it home," Cook said of cash kept outside the U.S. "But don't because it would cost me 40 percent to bring it home and I don't think this is a reasonable thing to do."

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

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Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook contends that the company's products are made in China because workers there are more highly skilled than their global colleagues.
US, IT, Internet, taxation, telecommunication, Apple
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2015-46-23
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 08:46 AM
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