KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:
Apple made a big announcement today. It is going to invest a lot more money in the United States and create 20,000 jobs here over the next five years. NPR's Laura Sydell is with us to talk about what Apple is doing and why it is doing it now. Hey, Laura.
LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Hello.
MCEVERS: So what else is in this big announcement?
SYDELL: Well, I'd say one of the most interesting things in the announcement is that Apple's saying it's going to build a new campus, and that comes after they just spent billions of dollars on a fancy new headquarters in Cupertino. They're not saying yet where this new campus will be built. They did say it will initially be focused on technical support for customers. And it's possible they're doing this because the cost of living out in Silicon Valley is frankly very high. So they're looking for, you know, cheaper land, lower property values.
And it's interesting. They made this announcement after Amazon made this huge splash with plans to build a second headquarters somewhere in the U.S. The big emphasis in this announcement is just that Apple wants everyone to know that it's spending money and creating jobs in the U.S. And I'm sure that's because it has faced a lot of criticism over outsourcing to China in particular and for keeping a large portion of their profits overseas.
MCEVERS: So is that going to change now, too?
SYDELL: Well, it's hard to say. We don't know all the details yet, but they say they're going to be paying some $38 billion in taxes, money that they're bringing back into the country. And that number suggests they'll be bringing back a lot of overseas cash. And they've got a lot to bring back. Apple's most recent report said they had $250 billion overseas. For years, CEO Tim Cook has been very critical of U.S. tax laws, and he's been sensitive to criticism that Apple's been dodging U.S. taxes. With today's announcement, he said, quote, "we have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who make our success possible."
MCEVERS: And Apple says all these moves will add up to a $350 billion contribution to the U.S. economy over five years. Does that sound plausible to you?
SYDELL: Well, let's be clear what we're talking about here.
SYDELL: Apple isn't saying, you know, that it's going to spend $350 billion in the U.S.
SYDELL: What it is saying is that the impact of what it's doing is going to contribute that much money to the economy, but that's a very hard thing to measure or predict. More specifically, they are doing things like pledging more investment in what they call their manufacturing fund. So $5 billion will go to that. And this fund helps other manufacturers that supply Apple be innovative and grow.
MCEVERS: How much of what Apple is doing can we attribute to the new tax law which lowered the corporate tax rate?
SYDELL: Well, it is definitely part of it - the part about the taxes Apple will pay on the money it's going to bring back from overseas. They're bringing back, as we said, $38 billion in taxes. That's a direct impact from the tax bill. It brought down the amount of tax Apple would have to pay for bringing profits back into the U.S. The rest - it's hard to say. Keep in mind Apple is a very successful company, and they could have done any of these other things at any time. However, it could be that Apple's just feeling more political pressure to show that it's a patriotic company and it's supporting American workers.
MCEVERS: NPR tech correspondent Laura Sydell, thank you.
SYDELL: You're welcome.
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