Anyone who understands how iPhones and Macs are made knows how hollow President Trump's predilection is for Apple to return production to the US. But if you're looking for a solid anecdote that explains why, then the New York Times delivers a story about a screw and how it and other factors have cuffed Apple's ability to serialize the ill-fated Mac Pro in Texas to produce.
Here is the core:
But when Apple started building the $ 3,000 computer in Austin, Texas, he had trouble finding enough screws … In China, Apple relied on factories that could quickly make large quantities of custom screws. In Texas, where everything is said to be bigger, it turned out that the screw suppliers were not.
After months of delay, Apple finally ordered the screws from China. Finally, Apple found a supplier in Texas who could make 28,000 custom screws, even though, according to NYT, they were not exactly the right screws or in the right amount. And they were delivered on 22 trips, often in a Lexus driven by the manufacturer's owner.
As the NYT explains, no country and certainly not the US can match the size of the Chinese supply chain, the sheer number of skilled workers, the infrastructure that can move things quickly, or the relatively cheap labor pool. These jobs will not be back in the near future, if at all. Ironically, it was Tim Cook, in his former role as Apple's Chief Operating Officer, who led the global shift to overseas manufacturing some 15 years ago with the outsourcing of the iPod assembly to Foxconn.
The NYT article reads like a primer that everyone, including the president, should read in 2019, while simultaneously putting the debacle of the 2013 Mac Pro into context.

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