Even as trade tensions continue to escalate between the U.S. and China, Apple has decided to assemble the new Mac Pro inside Chinese borders.
The new flagship Mac will not be assembled in Austin, Texas like its predecessor, the “trashcan” Mac Pro. Apple had previously invested $100 million in tooling and other equipment in Flex Ltd., a manufacturing plant in Austin, in hopes of shifting some Mac production back to the U.S. thanks to public and governmental pressure.
The move to assemble the expensive new “cheese grater” Mac Pro inside China comes as somewhat of a surprise, as the Cupertino firm faces increased tariffs on products imported from China to the U.S.
Apple is working with Quanta Computer Inc., a company that has worked with the U.S. firm in the past, to manufacture their new Mac Pro. Production is gearing up in a factory near Shanghai.
The decision was likely influenced by the proximity of Quanta’s facilities to other Apple suppliers in Asia, making it cheaper to ship components than if they were shipped from the United States.
Apple recently told the Wall Street Journal that the new Mac Pro is designed and engineered in the U.S. and includes U.S.-manufactured parts. An Apple company spokesperson also pointed out that the company supports manufacturing in 30 U.S. states and spent $60 billion last year with over 9,000 U.S. suppliers.
Workers at Flex will likely not lose their jobs, as the company has moved production to refurbishing computers, and has contracts with HP and other companies.