Apple plans $100 million investment in U.S.-manufactured Macs

, Bloomberg

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Apple Inc. plans to spend more than $100 million next year on building Mac computers in the U.S., shifting a small portion of manufacturing away from China, the country that has handled assembly of its products for years.

"Next year we´re going to bring some production to the U.S.," CEO Tim Cook said in an interview. "This doesn't mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we´ll be working with people and we'll be investing our money."

Apple, which until the late 1990s made and assembled many products in the U.S., moved manufacturing to Asia to take advantage of the region's lower labor costs. The planned investment makes up a sliver of Applels $121.3 billion in cash, and probably won´t meaningfully affect profit margins.

Still, it reflects pressure on companies to create even a modest number of domestic jobs as the unemployment rate hovers near 8 percent and the economy rebounds from the recession that ended in 2009.

"I don´t think we have a responsibility to create a certain kind of job," Cook said. "But I think we do have a responsibility to create jobs."

Apple and its manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Group have faced criticism from labor- and worker-rights groups for the conditions at facilities where Apple products are made. Cook defended Apple's practices, including enlisting the Fair Labor Association to audit Foxconn's factories.

"We're doing a number of things that I think are really great, really different, and industry-leading," Cook said. "No one is looking at this as deeply as we are or going as deep in the supply chain."

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