Apple to create $1 billion U.S. advanced manufacturing fund

Apple to create $1 billion U.S. advanced manufacturing fund

May 4, 2017

By Stephen Nellis, Reuters Apple Inc (AAPL.O) plans to create a $1 billion fund to invest in U.S. companies that perform advanced manufacturing, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said on Wednesday, the iPhone maker’s latest effort to show how it is creating U.S. jobs. The Cupertino, California company will announce the fund’s first investment later in May, Cook said during an interview on CNBC. Cook also said Apple plans to fund programs that could include teaching people how to write computer code to create apps, and will release more details about the effort this summer. The announcements were the latest in a series of disclosures to highlight how Apple, the world’s largest company by market valuation, contributes to job creation in the United States. Apple came under fire from President Donald Trump during his campaign because it makes most of its products in China. In February during the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Cook said Apple spent $50 billion in 2016 with its U.S. suppliers, which include firms like 3M Co (MMM.N) and Corning Inc (GLW.N), the first time Apple has disclosed the metric. Cook reiterated that point during the CNBC interview, along with Apple’s claim that it has created 2 million jobs in the United States, 80,000 of which are directly at Apple and the rest coming from suppliers and software developers for the company’s app ecosystem. Apple is highlighting its U.S. presence at the same time lawmakers consider a major tax proposal by Trump that would let Apple, along with other large companies, bring back accumulated profits from overseas at potentially lower tax rates. Ninety-three percent of Apple’s $256.8 billion cash is held overseas. Cook, who met with lawmakers in Washington earlier this year to discuss tax policy and technology issues, said that Apple would have to borrow the cash for its U.S. manufacturing investment fund and said he was hopeful Trump administration would address the repatriation issue. Cook stopped short of saying Apple would bring some of its cash back into the United States if Trump’s tax proposal was enacted. “To invest in the United States, we have to borrow. This doesn’t make sense on a broad basis. So I think the...

U.S. manufacturing shows signs of stability as export orders…

U.S. manufacturing shows signs of stability as export orders…

May 2, 2017

“U.S. manufacturing shows signs of stability as export orders rise” By Lucia Mutikani, Reuters U.S. factory activity expanded at a more moderate pace in April due in part to a slowdown in new orders, but a rise in export orders to a near 1-1/2-year high and signs an inventory overhang drag was fading offered hope for the manufacturing sector. Another report on Monday showed construction spending rose to an 8-1/2-year high in March and the prior month’s outlays were revised higher, implying a small upward revision to the first quarter’s pedestrian growth rate. “Manufacturing is moving forward but we have the tortoise, not the hare in this race,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity slipped to 50.8 last month from a reading of 51.8 in March. Despite the fall, April marked the second straight month of expansion and was also the second highest reading in the last eight months. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector, which accounts for 12 percent of the U.S. economy. Economists had forecast the ISM manufacturing index dipping to 51.4 last month. Manufacturing has been hurt by weak export growth stemming from a strong dollar and soft global demand. The sector has also been hammered by relentless aggressive spending cuts in the energy sector in the aftermath of last year’s plunge in oil prices. Efforts by businesses to reduce an inventory overhang have resulted in fewer factory orders, leading to further erosion in the manufacturing sector. U.S. stocks were trading higher on Monday, while prices for U.S. Treasuries fell. The dollar .DXY weakened against a basket of currencies. Q2 GDP REBOUND EXPECTED Manufacturing last month was held back by a drop in the gauge of orders received by factories, which fell 2.5 points to 55.8 percent. Factory production also fell last month. A 10th consecutive monthly decline in inventories restrained manufacturing activity in April, but represented good news for future factory output. ISM said customer inventories hit a nine-month low last month and were now regarded as being “too low.” A gauge of export orders rose to...

US manufacturing expanded in March

US manufacturing expanded in March

Apr 6, 2017

By Vicki Needham, The Hill U.S. manufacturing expanded in March for the the seventh straight month, although at a slower pace than in February, a new survey shows. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said Monday that their latest index fell slightly to 57.2 last month from 57.7 the previous month, which was the highest level in more than two years. Any reading above 50 is a sign of growth. New orders and production continued to expand, but more slowly, in March, while hiring and new export orders grew faster, ISM reported. New orders were at 64.5 in March, a drop from 65.1 in February, while production posted a 57.6 in March down from 62.9 in February. Employment hit 58.9 in March, an increase from February’s 54.2 percent — the sixth consecutive month of growth and the highest reading since June 2011.  The new orders index hit 59 in March, up 4 points from February’s 55, the 13th straight month of growth and the best showing since November 2013. Manufacturing added 28,000 jobs in February, the most in a year and the third straight month of growth in the sector, according to Labor Department figures. The next government jobs report is set for release on Friday. Manufacturers are expressing record levels of optimism because of the Trump administration’s plans to cut regulations they argue have weighed on their businesses. Comments from respondents ranged from “business is strong and looking up” in the furniture industry to “looking relatively flat currently, and the view for calendar year 2017 looks to be flat as well” for transportation equipment firms. ...

“Eliminate the Trade Deficit” Resonates in Halls of Congress

“Eliminate the Trade Deficit” Resonates in Halls of Congress

Mar 22, 2017

By Michele Nash-Hoff, Savingusmanufacturing.com  “You were ahead of the curve on trade.” This was the common refrain heard last week by members of the Coalition for a Prosperous America who attended our annual fly-in to Washington, D. C. We had eight teams of members visiting Congressional Representatives and Senators on March 14th and 15th. As Chair of our developing California chapter, it was my fifth year attending the CPA fly-in, and our simple message of eliminating the trade deficit resonated well in the halls of Congress. No one could deny that we have a huge deficit as shown on the chart below: The annual trade deficit has reduced our U. S. GDP by some 3% to 5.5% each year, and those reductions compound over time. There is no historical record of any other country in history running 41 years of consecutive trade deficits. Why is this important? Because every billion dollars of net imports costs 4,500 American jobs according to conservative estimates. So last year’s $502 billion deficit equates to 2.25 million jobs lost. As a result, our Labor Force Participation is in serious decline. The U. S. is the only G7 nation with a DECLINE in LFPR since 1998 for workers ages 15-64. It peaked at 77.4% in 1998 and dropped down five points to 72.6% in 2015, meaning that over 7 million people dropped out of labor force since 1998. The remedy recommended by the Coalition for a Prosperous America is simple:  Congress should establish a national goal to eliminate the trade deficit. Balanced trade over time is the goal of free trade and of fair trade. Balanced trade will re-industrialize our country, enable massive job creation, grow our wealth and effectively neutralize foreign mercantilism. Trade policy must address true drivers of deficit, these countries and their practices. Many of these countries have export-oriented growth strategies in which they rely upon the US market to consume their exports rather than increasing their internal consumption. China, Germany, Japan and other countries pursue net exports through strategic mercantilism, not free trade. Currency manipulation, value added taxes, state influenced enterprises, and other tactics are used. The following top 10 countries account for 90% of America’s...

How ‘Made in the USA’ can see a renaissance, and…

How ‘Made in the USA’ can see a renaissance, and…

Mar 6, 2017

“How ‘Made in the USA’ can see a renaissance, and what will (and won’t) change” By Trent Gillies, CNBC President Donald Trump has promised to bring jobs back to America, but the number of U.S. manufacturing jobs has been on a 30-year decline. Can that entrenched trend be reversed? A growing number of market experts believe the answer is yes. “I’m very optimistic,” small businessman Drew Greenblatt told CNBC’s “On The Money” in an interview. “We’re going to see an American manufacturing renaissance” Greenblatt, chair of the National Association of Manufacturers and president of Baltimore-based Marlin Steel Wire Products, pointed to policies that Trump wants to enact as a potential catalyst to new hiring. “We’re talking about reducing regulations by 75 percent, cutting our tax rate from 40-something percent to 15 percent,” he said. “It’s just going to make America more attractive to bring back opportunities to our country,” he added. However, in industries such as apparel, more than 97 percent of clothing and shoes are made overseas. Given the entrenched economic realities, others are skeptical that any government policy can spark a manufacturing rebound “There’s not much that can bring most of those jobs back, ” retail consultant Jan Kniffen told CNBC in an interview. “We haven’t made patterns in America, we haven’t made the product in America forever,” he said.   Kniffen added that the U.S. “would need factories, but those factories would have to be so automated, the jobs would be maintaining the equipment not producing the product.” That is because “the cost of producing abroad is so low and shipping not that much,” he said. Greenblatt remained optimistic that at least some sectors could see a resurgence. ” I acknowledge some industries are not coming back here, it makes more sense to do it elsewhere. But things like making airplanes and bulldozers and cars, it’s going to grow here, it’s going to thrive here.” Greenblatt’s Marlin Steel exports to 39 countries from its Maryland factory. He told CNBC that the company designs and fabricates wire baskets for automotive clients including Toyota Motor and General Motors. “We make baskets for Caterpillar and Boeing,” he said. “These companies are building factories in...