How Donald Trump's election as U.S. President could affect Apple

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2016
Anticipating the full impact of the election of Donald Trump is difficult because his campaign offered little in terms of real policy proposals, instead favoring high energy crowd rallies and the drawing of media attention through the use of incredible and often shocking comments. There are some clues as to what he might make priorities in his administration however.



Source: Wall Street Journal

An empowered FBI surveillance state

While Trump's rival Hillary Clinton had worked with Silicon Valley tech leaders to draft articulated policies related to citizens' encryption rights, privacy, patent reform and education, Trump's website made no mention of any substantial ideas related to technology, innovation, privacy, intellectual property or education.

However, Trump has garnered support from operatives in the Federal Bureau of Investigations, who used their positions to influence the election by teasing the prospect of an ongoing investigation into Clinton's email use.

Last winter, when the FBI sought to force Apple to write code exploiting the security features of its own software, Apple pushed back while Trump, on the campaign trail, built a case for government interference in encryption tools. FBI director James Comey has a vast public record of desperately wanting to break encryption

FBI director James Comey has a vast public record of desperately wanting to break encryption. Trump threatened a boycott of Apple, and professed the use of a Samsung Android phone, a platform that uses ineffective encryption that's easy to exploit.

A Trump administration with a cozy relationship with surveillance-state investigators could leverage his position to attack his business rivals and anyone else he considered a threat. Trump regularly threatened to attack journalists and media outlets during his campaign, in the mold of Russia's President Vladimir Putin, a dictator who Trump has regularly praised.

Members of Congress--including prominent Republicans--have refused to empower the FBI to force companies like Apple to install security backdoors into their products. However, under the duress of an event similar to 9/11, citizens' rights to privacy could be slashed in a manner similar to the Patriot Act, legislation that Trump's running mate supported.

Jobs at risk from isolationism

Tech executives, including HP's chief executive Meg Whitman, herself a Republican candidate for California Governor in 2010, offered some bleak assessments of Trump's plans to, for example, add a 35 percent tariff on imported goods, noting that this "would sink this country into a recession. It would penalize global companies that are trying to be competitive globally."

Trump certainly gained some populist support by suggesting he would seek to induce companies like Apple to bring manufacturing jobs to the United States, as well as place caps on H-1B visas that many tech companies use to bring in skilled foreign workers.

However, Apple has already attempted to create manufacturing jobs domestically, ranging from sourcing materials for its Mac Pro from American firms to obtaining iPhone screens and certain silicon components from domestic factories. Trump's plan to add a 35 percent tariff on imported goods "would sink this country into a recession," - Meg Whitman

The problem with bringing Shenzhen-style mass manufacturing to the United States is that America lacks the vast supply chain infrastructure and specialized tool and die experts that China has cultivated for decades.

Further, American workers are largely not interested in working out of dorms in the massive manufacturing plants required to build tens of millions of devices on tight schedules to support Apple's blockbuster product launches.

Instead, Apple has focused on creating app economy jobs in the U.S., investing in efforts to build an App Store marketplace and Xcode developer tools to support entrepreneurial software creation. Apple has paid out billions of dollars to domestic developers, creating high quality employment for modern knowledge workers.

The rapid, large scale investment in the iOS App ecosystem has resulted in high paying jobs that attract talent to tech centers in San Francisco and Silicon Valley (including Facebook and Twitter), as well as spreading to other expanding tech scenes in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Denver, Austin, Boston, New York, Washington DC, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Miami and other cities around the country.

By introducing caps on visas, rapidly growing tech companies in the U.S. will find it more difficult to bring in talent acquihired elsewhere, making it more attractive for companies like Apple to simply expand their overseas operations.

Apple has already stepped up its efforts to build international development and research campuses, including facilities based in Ottawa, Canada; Cambridge, England; Herzliya, Israel; Bengaluru, India, Shanghai, China; Yokohama, Japan and many other sites.

While perfect for exciting crowds, Trump's proposed protectionist policies would interfere with America's emerging markets related to app development and new technologies ranging from virtual reality to augmented reality and self-driving vehicles, with the likely unintended consequence of moving more valuable employment overseas, keeping tax-paying visa workers employed in foreign countries where they wouldn't contribute anything to America's tax base.

New taxes on foreign earnings

International companies like Apple are required by the United States to pay domestic taxes on foreign income, but only if those earnings are brought back into the U.S. Because of this, Apple has amassed over $200 billion in foreign earnings that it has held as being "reinvested overseas."

Trump's idea to tax foreign earnings at 10 percent was falsely portrayed by a poorly written Financial Times article by Daniel Thomas and Vanessa Houlder to sound like a tax holiday. Instead, Trump's proposal would levy a tax on overseas earnings whether they were imported or not.

Such a plan would create chaos for companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and others that are already being targeted by the European Commission, looking for ways to grab corporate cash at the expense of those companies' investors and employees.

This would be particularly difficult if a Trump administration were also seeking to set up protectionist economic walls at the same time, potentially triggering a global recession related to economic uncertainty.

American sharia and anti-intellectualism attacking tech employees

Trump, along with his running mate Mike Pence, are climate change deniers who refuse to accept the findings of the global scientific community. Clean energy and power efficiency are not only rare economic opportunities for American business, but climate change itself is playing a major role in the increase of storm severity and in changes that are affecting existing businesses, notably agriculture.

Apple has focused resources on addressing climate-related energy issues, but if U.S. policy shifts toward attacking science rather that listening to it, it will become more difficult and expensive for domestic companies to develop and invest in the technology needed to understand and respond to climate threats as they develop. If U.S. policy shifts toward attacking science rather that listening to it, it will become more difficult and expensive for domestic companies to develop and invest in the technology needed

Rather than investing in renewable energy, Pence voted against it, as well as voting against limits on pollution.

Pence, as governor of Indiana, has instead focused on religious lawmaking, signing the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" designed to allow discrimination against others based on their sexual orientation. Apple's chief executive Tim Cook and Salesforce's Marc Benioff both took issue with the law as bad for business, with Benioff threatening to suspend all business in the state if it continued.

Pence also voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a measure Apple supported in its efforts to support and attract diverse talent base among its suppliers and partners.

On a national level, the less well-known Pence is likely to continue promoting an agenda of marginalizing minorities on a Federal level, causing new problems for businesses trying to recruit talent and forcing competent workers to seek employment in countries where religious laws aren't a factor.

Trump rhetoric no guide to actual policy

While Trump campaigned on a variety of slogans, the reality is that nobody knows what Trump will actually do. Many of his positions have radically changed, even many times just over the course of his campaign.While Trump campaigned on a variety of slogans, the reality is that nobody knows what Trump will actually do

Trump has frequently crossed his own political party, but has also demonstrated a disinterest in actually acting as president, suggesting that he would delegate decisions to others while using the position to serve his own needs.

While portraying himself as both a conservative and as a "blue collar billionaire," Trump effectively promised to end abortion and to bring manufacturing back to the Rust Belt. But Trump has promised lots of things, and his own personal history includes no previous interest in anti-abortion politics nor in employing American workers.

That makes it virtually impossible to imagine what a thin skinned Twitter agitator, who refused to reveal any of his tax returns (keeping a secret of the parties he owes money to internationally) might do when given control over the American presidency, with the authority to command the military and appoint Supreme Court nominees.

Prior to becoming president, Trump also faces two federal trials over alleged federal racketeering related to his Trump University and allegedly defrauding consumers and the elderly, as well as a New York state investigation into his Trump Foundation.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 162
    kenckenc Posts: 195member
    Your last comment is the only one I would count on.
    xbitrob53frankiemacgui
  • Reply 2 of 162
    xbitxbit Posts: 370member
    He'll get bored of being president within six months. I wouldn't worry too much about him upsetting the apple cart. 
    rob53randominternetpersonfrankiepalegolasronnnolamacguy
  • Reply 3 of 162
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,060member
    I'd sure like to put my foot up Trump's backdoor.
    dougdrob53davencaliirelandjustadcomicsblastdoorneo-techdreyfus2brertech
  • Reply 4 of 162
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,314member
    Uh, err, Daniel, the election is over. Your stump speech is a day late and a dollar short. Sore loser still fapping the fud, Daniel? Even Hillary said we need to at least give him a chance. I’m waiting to see how many celebrities actually move out of the U.S. like they swore they would do if The Donald won. Streisand, Amy Schumer, Notorious RBG, Whoopi Goldberg, Alec Baldwin, Cher, Miley Cyrus. Anybody see the For Sale signs yet?
    boltsfan17monstrosityasdasdmacplusplusmacseekergatorguymwhiterandominternetpersonrevenantentropys
  • Reply 5 of 162
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,060member
    lkrupp said:
    Uh, err, Daniel, the election is over. Your stump speech is a day late and a dollar short.
    Thank you. The people who voted Trump into office now need to stand up and take responsibility for their indiscretion. AI is merely highlighting the direction you helped send the U.S.A., but I guess you can't take it. Trump can't take criticism either.
    rob53davenirelandSolilondorjustadcomicsblastdoordreyfus2brertechdoozydozen
  • Reply 6 of 162
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,086member
    lkrupp said:
    Uh, err, Daniel, the election is over. Your stump speech is a day late and a dollar short. Sore loser still fapping the fud, Daniel? Even Hillary said we need to at least give him a chance. I’m waiting to see how many celebrities actually move out of the U.S. like they swore they would do if The Donald won. Streisand, Amy Schumer, Notorious RBG, Whoopi Goldberg, Alec Baldwin, Cher, Miley Cyrus. Anybody see the For Sale signs yet?
    It isn't a stump speech, it's an attempt to understand how Trump's attempts at national policy would affect Apple. I've also heard people say he'll be impeached within his first year, if he even survives the federal racketeering charges. Of course, all the Republican and conservative judges will give him a pass because he's the incoming President and all he needs to do is force the trial into a conservative suburb or one of the many red districts in the farm land and nobody will convict him of anything.

    Yes, I'm upset he won because he has no business being our President. 
    davencaliirelandSoliai46londorjustadcomicsblastdoorbrertechdoozydozen
  • Reply 7 of 162
    Oh, look, more clickbait from DED.

    Don't give him the satisfaction, folks. He's not worth it.
    lkruppasdasdboltsfan17mwhitecookiepussewtheckman[Deleted User]mike1lmagooindyfx
  • Reply 8 of 162
    irelandireland Posts: 17,794member
    The only president who's said he'd date his own daughter.
    edited November 2016 buckalecdasanman69londorjustadcomicsblastdoordreyfus2brertechdoozydozenjony0lolliver
  • Reply 9 of 162
    rob53 said:
    lkrupp said:
    Uh, err, Daniel, the election is over. Your stump speech is a day late and a dollar short. Sore loser still fapping the fud, Daniel? Even Hillary said we need to at least give him a chance. I’m waiting to see how many celebrities actually move out of the U.S. like they swore they would do if The Donald won. Streisand, Amy Schumer, Notorious RBG, Whoopi Goldberg, Alec Baldwin, Cher, Miley Cyrus. Anybody see the For Sale signs yet?
    It isn't a stump speech, it's an attempt to understand how Trump's attempts at national policy would affect Apple. I've also heard people say he'll be impeached within his first year, if he even survives the federal racketeering charges. Of course, all the Republican and conservative judges will give him a pass because he's the incoming President and all he needs to do is force the trial into a conservative suburb or one of the many red districts in the farm land and nobody will convict him of anything.

    Yes, I'm upset he won because he has no business being our President. 
    You sound pretty bitter. Here's a tissue. Liberal tears taste so good. 

    macseekerandrewj5790mwhiteentropyssirlance99gtrdesignrredraider11bestkeptsecretfreethinking
  • Reply 10 of 162
    rob53 said:
    lkrupp said:
    Uh, err, Daniel, the election is over. Your stump speech is a day late and a dollar short. Sore loser still fapping the fud, Daniel? Even Hillary said we need to at least give him a chance. I’m waiting to see how many celebrities actually move out of the U.S. like they swore they would do if The Donald won. Streisand, Amy Schumer, Notorious RBG, Whoopi Goldberg, Alec Baldwin, Cher, Miley Cyrus. Anybody see the For Sale signs yet?
    It isn't a stump speech, it's an attempt to understand how Trump's attempts at national policy would affect Apple. I've also heard people say he'll be impeached within his first year, if he even survives the federal racketeering charges. Of course, all the Republican and conservative judges will give him a pass because he's the incoming President and all he needs to do is force the trial into a conservative suburb or one of the many red districts in the farm land and nobody will convict him of anything.

    Yes, I'm upset he won because he has no business being our President. 
    "Yes, I'm upset he won because he has no business being our President."

    There's this little thing called a democracy where the people have the power to decide who leads the country and who doesn't. And they have spoken. 
    asdasdmacseekerandrewj5790mwhitegregg thurmanrevenantentropysgtrbestkeptsecretfreethinking
  • Reply 11 of 162
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    I hope Trump is all talk. Some of the crap he said was scary. I mean he could be all talk he never actually boycotted Apple either.
    justadcomicsblastdoorbrertechdysamorialolliverbaconstangwatto_cobrabrakkenMacProlordjohnwhorfin
  • Reply 12 of 162
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,926member
    cpsro said:
    lkrupp said:
    Uh, err, Daniel, the election is over. Your stump speech is a day late and a dollar short.
    Thank you. The people who voted Trump into office now need to stand up and take responsibility for their indiscretion. AI is merely highlighting the direction you helped send the U.S.A., but I guess you can't take it. Trump can't take criticism either.
    Go screw.  You need to take responsibility for favoring a fucking criminal 
    boltsfan17macseekermwhiteblastdoorentropysgtrdesignrredraider11john galtlordjohnwhorfin
  • Reply 13 of 162
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,926member
    Biased, transparent, willfully ignorant article.  Huge mistake, AI
    asdasdboltsfan17macseekergatorguymwhiteentropyssirlance99gtrdesignrredraider11
  • Reply 14 of 162
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,526member
    rob53 said:
    lkrupp said:
    Uh, err, Daniel, the election is over. Your stump speech is a day late and a dollar short. Sore loser still fapping the fud, Daniel? Even Hillary said we need to at least give him a chance. I’m waiting to see how many celebrities actually move out of the U.S. like they swore they would do if The Donald won. Streisand, Amy Schumer, Notorious RBG, Whoopi Goldberg, Alec Baldwin, Cher, Miley Cyrus. Anybody see the For Sale signs yet?
    It isn't a stump speech, it's an attempt to understand how Trump's attempts at national policy would affect Apple. I've also heard people say he'll be impeached within his first year, if he even survives the federal racketeering charges. Of course, all the Republican and conservative judges will give him a pass because he's the incoming President and all he needs to do is force the trial into a conservative suburb or one of the many red districts in the farm land and nobody will convict him of anything.

    Yes, I'm upset he won because he has no business being our President. 
    "Yes, I'm upset he won because he has no business being our President."

    There's this little thing called a democracy where the people have the power to decide who leads the country and who doesn't. And they have spoken. 
    Get out. Don't you remember hearing a hundred times in the last few weeks that the system is rigged? It's true. Republican gerrymandering, votor suppression and the electoral college got this idiot, excuse me, this candidate, the election. 

    If Hillary had won I wouldn't dare say anything as sentimental and smarmy as "the people have spoken." 
    edited November 2016 netroxSolijustadcomicsbrertechlondorwigbyroundaboutnowdysamorialolliverboredumb
  • Reply 15 of 162
    There's this little thing called a democracy where the people have the power to decide who leads the country and who doesn't. And they have spoken. 
    Well, to be clear, where the electors have the power to decide (electors can ignore the state's will, if you will). Clinton won the popular vote.
    edited November 2016 justadcomicsbrertechlondorroundaboutnowdysamorialolliverboredumbbaconstangdigital_guyraz0r
  • Reply 16 of 162
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    sdw2001 said:
    You need to take responsibility for favoring a fucking criminal 
    You're right, he's done many unscrupulous things in his life and admitted to committing felonies, but he's never been convicted. Since he did win the EC vote so you need to accept this so-called "criminal" as our next US president.
    edited November 2016 dasanman69andrewj5790justadcomicsbrertechlondordysamorialolliverbaconstangdigital_guysingularity
  • Reply 17 of 162
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    There's this little thing called a democracy where the people have the power to decide who leads the country and who doesn't. And they have spoken. 
    You know "the people have spoken" makes no sense when the popular vote goes to one candidate (the loser) and the EC vote goes to the winner, right?
    edited November 2016 justadcomicsrob53blastdoorbrertechlondorpscooter63jony0roundaboutnowdysamorialolliver
  • Reply 18 of 162
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member
    The difference in the popular vote was minuscule right? As a non-American I'd prefer this site stayed non political (unless something directly affects Apple, not guesses) 
    macseekerdws-2andrewj5790mwhitegregg thurmanentropysgtr[Deleted User]raz0rtoddzrx
  • Reply 19 of 162
    I'm surprised some people seem to object to this article--I think it's useful and interesting to contemplate, based on what we know so far, and this is a thoughtful effort. And perhaps the biggest point is that we don't know much about what he would really do or be able to do, given that so many of his proposals have been more conceptual than concrete or consistent, and based on the perspective of a real estate developer rather than someone with a knowledge of government. As that changes, a more clear picture should emerge.

    One additional point is that some of his more globally controversial proposals could lead to a weaker dollar, which would clearly be good for Apple in some ways, as long as those same proposals didn't hurt Apple more in other ways. (Please don't take this as an invitation for angry off-topic rants--I've done my best to keep mine objective.)
    edited November 2016 justadcomicsbrertechwigbyjony0roundaboutnowration allollivermvmaastrichtbaconstangmacsince1988
  • Reply 20 of 162
    Your obviously seething about the election results, being you were so far up the Democrats and HRC's asses

    BTW, it's a 10% tax holiday and then 15% going forward on all foreign earnings. Apple will be all over this and will be able to bring $200B back to the US if they wish 

    More important, it would be a 15% income tax on everything going forward, vs the current 26% Apple has been accruing.  It would be a massive windfall and dramaticallly improve operating results of the company going forward.  Was this too inconsequential for you to mention in your tirade? 


    edited November 2016 andrewj5790macseekermwhiteentropysSpamSandwich[Deleted User]aderutterspacekidbugsnw
This discussion has been closed.