Almost a year ago, then presidential candidate Donald Trump talked about imposing a 35% import tax on products made overseas and sold in the U.S. A week away from taking office, Trump's goal is to have companies like Apple produce more of their products in the U.S. to give more jobs to stateside workers. While most Americans would be happy to see more factories humming in the U.S., the higher costs for workers and supplies in the states could result in soaring prices for many finished products.
Still, Apple spoke with its supply chain during the summer, and contract manufacturer Foxconn agreed to see if U.S. production was feasible. The problem for a company like Apple is that under the current setup, most of its suppliers are all located near each other making it easy for Apple to order additional parts if needed. But it would appear that some of Apple's suppliers are taking possible U.S. production of the iPhone seriously. One of those firms is TSMC, the company that produces the A10 chipset that powers the Apple iPhone 7 and Apple iPhone 7 Plus.
TSMC chairman Morris Chang addressed the issue during an investors' conference on Thursday. The executive said that his company could build a wafer fab plant in the states in response to Trump's call for more manufacturing in the U.S. Chang admitted that stateside production for TSMC "may not necessarily be a good thing," for both the company and its customers.
Because TSMC is helping fabless and IDM companies succeed in the U.S. without a foundry, Chang apparently believes that his firm is already adding jobs in the U.S. However, we're not sure that this type of reasoning will appease the President-elect, and neither is TSMC's chairman. Thus, we have Morris Chang talking about TSMC building a factory in the U.S. Once it has planted its flag in the states, TSMC could eventually produce future chipsets for Apple in America.