Donald Trump is the President-elect, and the tech world is still figuring out how to react. After the vast majority of Silicon Valley stood in opposition to Trump’s policies and divisive rhetoric — which, among other things, called on Apple to make its phones in the US and said Amazon “has a huge antitrust problem” — many of those companies’ stocks are now taking a beating.
However, for all the areas of disagreement, there’s at least one Trump policy that may sit nicely with big tech firms: tax repatriation.
As this chart from Statista shows, some of the biggest tech companies in America hoard most of their cash overseas. They do this because the United States — unusually in the world — does not tax foreign holdings of U.S. companies as long as that money stays overseas. But as soon as companies bring it back to the U.S., it’s subject to a tax rate around 35% — higher than corporate tax rates in most other countries.
In Trump keeps to his word, he might give that “fair rate” Cook desires. In a September speech at the Economic Club of New York, Trump proposed bringing that tax rate all the way down to 10%. “By taxing it at 10% instead of 35%, all of this money will come back into our country,” he said.
Would this make Trump and the tech world hunky-dory? Probably not. But even in a landscape this tense, there’s at least some room for common ground.