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Apple deepens Austin ties with $1B campus, expands operations east and west

Apple deepens Austin ties with $1B campus, expands operations east and west

December 13th, 2018 by Associated Press in Texas News

In this May 31, 2018, file photo, customers enter the Apple store, in New York. Apple will build a $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, break ground on smaller locations in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, California, and over the next three years will expand in Pittsburgh, New York and Colorado.

Photo by Associated Press /Texarkana Gazette.

AUSTIN — Apple will build a $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, break ground on smaller locations in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, California, and over the next three years expand in Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, Colorado, Boston, and Portland, Oregon.

The tech giant said Thursday that the new campus will open with 5,000 new positions, but it will have the capacity to eventually accommodate 15,000 employees in fields ranging from engineering or research and development, to sales and support.

The three other new locations will have more than 1,000 employees each.

Early this year, Apple said that it would make more than $30 billion in capital expenditures in the U.S. over the next five years. That, the company said in January, would create more than 20,000 new jobs at existing and new campuses that Apple planned to build.

Where U.S. companies open new facilities or plants has always had the potential for public and political backlash.

That potential has intensified under the Trump administration, which has pushed companies to keep more of their operations inside the country's borders.

While CEO Tim Cook has steered mostly clear of President Donald Trump's ire, Apple did receive some pushback three months ago from the White House.

Apple sent a letter to the U.S. trade representative warning that the burgeoning trade war with China and rising tariffs could force higher prices for U.S. consumers.

Trump in a tweet told Apple to start making its products in the U.S., and not China.

Apple uses a lot of overseas facilities in China and elsewhere to produce components and its products.

Top tech executives from Google, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and Qualcomm gathered at the White House earlier this month to discuss advancing the U.S. tech economy amid strained ties between the administration and the industry, and trade tensions with China. Cook was not among them, nor was Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

There are already 6,000 Apple employees in Austin, its largest operation outside of company headquarters in Cupertino, California, where 37,000 people are employed.

Apple said nearly a year ago that it would begin canvassing the U.S. for another campus.

"They are just picking America's most established superstar cities and tech hubs," said Richard Florida, an urban development expert at the University of Toronto.

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