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Apple to Create 20,000 Jobs, Invest $350B in U.S.

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Apple announced it's planning to create 20,000 new jobs and invest $350 billion into the U.S. economy over the next five years – a move that's likely to be warmly welcomed by President Donald Trump so soon after the bulk of a GOP-constructed tax overhaul went into effect, reported U.S. and World Report News (US).

In a lengthy news release, Apple unveiled a series of investments and expansions aimed at advancing its domestic operations.

The tech giant also announced plans to pay roughly $38 billion in repatriation taxes, a sum that's tied to a tax reprieve included as part of the corporate tax overhaul that went into effect earlier this month.

Apple estimated its multibillion dollar payment to the federal government likely will be the "largest of its kind ever made." The company has long been thought to be holding one of the largest caches of unrepatriated earnings of all American enterprises, with more than $250 billion sitting overseas.

"We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement Wednesday.

Apple said it already employs 84,000 people across the country, and that it plans to create 20,000 new jobs in the years ahead through hiring at existing facilities and the development of a new campus that will "initially house technical support for customers."

The company said it will announce the location of that new facility "later in the year," and that it was breaking ground Wednesday on "a new facility in downtown Reno, which will support [Apple's] existing Nevada facilities."

The news is likely to be music to the ears of the Trump administration, as one of the largest selling points of the White House- and GOP-backed tax plan was its purported ability to drive new business investment and job opportunities in the U.S. The president has praised companies like AT&T and Fiat Chrysler in recent weeks for announced moves to create new jobs or offer bonuses to existing employees – or both – in connection with the newly approved tax legislation.

Trump's relationship with Apple has been a bumpy one in recent years, as he regularly criticized the tech company while out on the campaign trail for maintaining operations in China and not basing more manufacturing efforts in the U.S. At one point, Trump also called for an Apple boycott until the company agreed to help the FBI unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the shooters in the 2015 terror attack in San Bernardino, California.

But Apple's Cook has met with Trump on more than one occasion since the latter's Election Day victory in November 2016, at one point attending a meeting of the president's American Technology Council alongside Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, among other big names from the tech world.

Back in July, Trump also told The Wall Street Journal that Cook had "promised me three big plants – big, big, big," though Apple at the time declined to comment on the claim.

"I said, 'You know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won't consider my administration an economic success," Trump told the Journal of a conversation he said he had with Cook. "He called me, and he said they are going forward."

It was not immediately clear whether Wednesday's announcement related to that alleged promise.

Interest in the Apple news is likely to extend well beyond the White House, as states and municipalities may end up climbing over one another to attract the jobs and economic development opportunities that would accompany a new facility from the company.

Cities and states already have tried to entice Amazon with lucrative offers including subsidies and tax breaks, as Apple's fellow tech titan seeks a location for a new corporate headquarters. Should Apple follow Amazon's path and open up the location of its facility to bidders, similar offers are likely to surface.

Worth noting is an announcement made last year that Foxconn – a Taiwan-headquartered manufacturer that Apple has worked with to construct its iPhones – would invest $10 billion into a new facility in Wisconsin, though concern has been raised that the project championed by GOP Gov. Scott Walker will carry a burdensome price tag for taxpayers.

Still, if Foxconn and Amazon are the models to run off of, Apple should expect a long list of suitors in the coming months.

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Reporter: Denes Osvalt
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