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Apple To Peel Mac Production Away From China

(c) Sky News 2012

One of Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) 's existing Mac lines will be built exclusively in the US next year, CEO Tim Cook has announced.

He made the revelation in an interview with  Rock Center's Brian Williams , who asked him: "Why can't you be a made in America company?"

The iPad, iPhone and iPod are currently made by Taiwanese company Foxconn, with actual manufacturing taking place in China.

Mr Cook did not discuss Apple's relationship with Foxconn, but pointed out some parts of the iPhone, such as the glass, were already being manufactured in the US.

"We've been working for years on doing more and more in the United States," he told Mr Williams.

Apple's stock rose 1.6% on Thursday, considered a tepid bounce back from Wednesday's 6.4% dive that was its biggest single-day loss in almost four years.

Rock Center said the announcement could be good news for a country that has been struggling with an unemployment rate of around 8%.

At the same time, the US has promoted globalisation and lower trade barriers, allowing its companies to increase profit margins by using lower-wage nations such as China.

Mr Cook, who took over from Steve Jobs two months before he died, said it was important to bring more jobs to America.

Foxconn, which also makes the Kindle, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360, is the world's largest maker of electronic components, but has been involved in several controversies.

Most of these relate to how it manages its employees in China, where it is the country's largest private sector employer.

Plants run by Foxconn have seen a number of employee suicides over the past few years.

In February, Apple hired the non-profit Fair Labour Association to examine working conditions at Foxconn.

Mr Williams asked Mr Cook whether Apple could pull out of China entirely and manufacture everything in the US.

"It's not so much about price, it's about the skills," he replied.

Mr Cook said over time certain skills associated with manufacturing had left the US.

"It's a concerted effort to get them back," he added.

He did not divulge which Mac line would be stamped "made in America" from next year, nor exactly where it would be produced.

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