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Apple will make the new Mac Pro in Austin, avoiding some China tariffs

Starting at $5,999, the Mac Pro is not one of Apple’s high-volume products. It will be the only major Apple computer to be assembled in the United States.
Apple's new Mac Pro sits on display during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose on June 3, 2019.Brittany Hosea-Small / AFP - Getty Images file
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Apple will manufacture the next generation of its Mac Pro desktop computer in Austin, Texas, the company announced on Monday.

The Mac Pro is the only major Apple computer to be assembled in the United States. Most of Apple’s products, including the iPhone, are assembled in China and are facing tariff threats.

Apple over the weekend received federal product exclusions, the company confirmed, which enabled it to import some parts it needs for the Mac Pro without paying import tariffs. Apple said the new Mac Pro models include over two times more American-made components than previous models.

“The Mac Pro is Apple’s most powerful computer ever and we’re proud to be building it in Austin. We thank the administration for their support enabling this opportunity,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement.

In July, President Donald Trump signaled in a tweet that he wanted to reject Apple’s applications for the Mac Pro exclusions. Trump tweeted on July 26: “Apple will not be given Tariff waiver, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China. Make them in the USA, no Tariffs!”

“A man I have a lot of liking for and respect is Tim Cook, and we’ll work it out, I think they’re going to announce that they’re going to build a plant in Texas, and if they do that I’m starting to get very happy, okay,” Trump later said.

In response, Cook said that he would like to continue to make the Mac Pro in the U.S. and suggested that Apple is talking to the Trump administration about the issue.

“In terms of the exclusion, we’ve been making the Mac Pro in the U.S. We want to continue doing that,” Cook said on a call with analysts. “We’re working and investing currently in capacity to do so because we want to continue to be here.”

A previous version of the Mac Pro was also assembled in Texas by Flex, a contract manufacturer. Apple said the new design, which was announced earlier this year, will be manufactured at the same facility.

The Mac Pro is a high-end computer for programmers, artists and other people who need a lot of power. It starts at $5,999, and isn’t one of Apple’s high-volume products. Apple doesn’t break out Mac Pro sales, but Mac computers including laptops and other desktops made up 10 percent of Apple’s revenue for the most recent quarter for which sales information is available.

Apple still faces import duties scheduled for Dec. 15 that could affect nearly all of its major products including iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and Apple Watches.