Trump claimed he 'opened' an Apple plant in Texas on Wednesday, but it's been making Apple products since 2012

AP Photo/ Evan VucciApple CEO Tim Cook and President Donald Trump shake hands during a tour of an Apple manufacturing plant on Wednesday.

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday toured a factory in Austin, Texas, that’s building the new Mac Pro desktop computer.

Alongside Cook was President Donald Trump, his daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. The group toured the factory, spoke with workers, and shook hands.

Soon after Trump left the facility, he tweeted, “Today I opened a major Apple Manufacturing plant in Texas that will bring high paying jobs back to America.” The tweet was sent from – what else? – Apple’s iPhone.

But the factory Trump toured isn’t a new Apple factory – it’s a manufacturing plant owned and operated by Flex, a company that Apple contracts. And Apple has contracted Flex for years, including on the previous Mac Pro model starting in 2012.

Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, Tim Cook, and Flex employees in Austin, TexasAP Photo/ Evan VucciCook speaks to Trump next to Flex employees.

In a video released by the White House through Trump’s Twitter account, Flex employees can be seen manufacturing the new Mac Pro:

Neither Cook nor Apple corrected Trump’s assertion that a new manufacturing plant was opened in Austin on Wednesday, but it’s in Apple’s best interest to stay on Trump’s good side as the company seeks exemptions from Chinese tariffs.

When asked by a reporter about those discussions, Trump demurred.

“We’re looking at that,” he said. “The problem we have is, you have Samsung – it’s a great company, but it’s a competitor of Apple. And it’s not fair, because we have a trade deal with Korea. We made a great trade deal with South Korea. But we have to treat Apple on a somewhat similar basis as we treat Samsung.”

AppleApple’s planned Austin campus.

Trump has repeatedly spoken about the importance of Apple moving its manufacturing to the US from China, where it has traditionally built iPhones, iPads, and other products.

Apple’s production in China – handled by manufacturers like Foxconn and Pegatron – employs millions of workers. The Austin plant that builds the Mac Pro, one of Apple’s lowest-volume devices, employs about 500.

Trump told The Wall Street Journal in a 2017 interview that Apple was building “three big plants, beautiful plants” in the US and that he told Cook, “Unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success.”

Though Apple’s manufacturing in Texas isn’t quite what Trump promised, Apple did announce plans on Wednesday to build a $US1 billion Austin campus with offices for as many as 15,000 employees, as well as a 50-acre nature and wildlife preserve open to the public.

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