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Obama wants the 'next Steve Jobs,' may squeeze Apple

updated 10:20 pm EST, Tue January 24, 2012

Obama State of the Union policies touch on Apple

President Obama during his 2012 State of the Union address directly touched on the importance of companies like Apple while also pointing towards policies that would change how Apple itself behaves. With Steve Jobs' widow Laurene in attendance, he wanted to foster an employment culture of talent and innovation that would create "the next Steve Jobs." Among the fixes were addressing the lack of engineers and scientists at a time when many were still looking for work.

Simultaneously, though, he complained of companies that were getting tax deductions even as they moved jobs and resources offshore. The statement was an allusion to companies like but not limited to Apple, which often offshore their financial assets and jobs to minimize their taxes. Apple during its fiscal results just hours earlier specifically singled out that it had $64 billion in offshore cash, possibly as a message to the US government that it wanted incentives for repatriating the funds.

Perhaps answering the message, Obama planned to offer tax breaks for companies that brought jobs, revenues, or both back to the US. He wasn't yet ready to provide details of how the plan would work in the wide-ranging speech.

While revenue may be easier to accommodate, jobs may be more difficult. Obama highlighted the revival of GM and some American manufacturing, but companies like Apple depend on foreign flexibility and have to overcome questions of both adaptability as well as the supply chain efficiencies that may be difficult to overcome quickly, if at all.

Technology touched other corners of the speech. Obama was establishing a trade enforcement unit that would specifically try to curb counterfeits and piracy. He also called for an "all-out" energy plan that would focus on every available energy resource.

A Republican response from Indiana governor Mitch Daniels also wielded Jobs as an advocacy tool, claiming that the name was "fitting" as he created jobs. He didn't mention the concerns of offshoring.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +9

    businesses need specifics..

    and the government and president are always "afraid" to be specific. And we all need leadership instead we are given "ideas." Leaders lead. They change resources and accessibility. They offer workable solutions. They bring in people with the talent to make things happen. So now that Jobs is gone, where is that? We can outproduce and outperform anyone when we look at it like a crisis--remember Sputnik. The men going to the moon. The smart bombs, etc. We CAN do it, we need leadership with the will to forge the investment to get people going again. If people are hired on merit rather than because they belong to a cause, a movement, or a union, and they too are given responsible managers, we can make ANYTHING happen. Iraq, for us, is over. Soon Afghanistan will be too. So energy and technology are big possibilities. But show us a PLAN implementable within 6 months, not in time for the next election.

  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    0

    Only one man running for President

    Will let Apple bring their money back home with ZERO tax. This one: http://rpflix.com

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Apr 2011

    -15

    The ONLY reason

    Most consumer electronics are manufactured offshore is GREED.

    "foreign flexibility"(read - slave Asian flexibility) Is a very convenient myth.

    Just look at the automobile industry, cars are made everywhere, Germany, France, England, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, USA, even China.

    But pick a certain range of models(defined by specs like internal volume and horsepower) within any mayor manufacturer, and not only is the warranty similar but the performance and price as well. Except maybe for CHINESE cars.

    Cars made in china SUCK BIGTIME.

    One of the reasons is the automobile industry is so very automated and well planned even an economy car made by German workers at VW can compete favorably (cost-wise) with say, a similarly spec Ford Fiesta made in Spain by workers earning about half what the Germans do.

    Consumer electronics trends are very short lived compared to an $12000 automobile's, but then again the next $500 tablet is so much simpler both in design and production line setup.

    Back in the 90's when Motorola was relevant, it created the automated factory of the future; only - NAFTA & politics killed it, not overly expensive or lesser quality goods.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999

    +5

    Audi, VW, BMW, M-B, Ford, etc

    Plenty of Germany car manufacturers have setup shops in...China.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jan 2002

    -8

    Same ol' BS

    Tax the rich...create more government agencies (bigger government)...spend more money we don't have to create more groups of people who treat the federal government as their daddy...

  1. ctt61

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2005

    +5

    Same old BS about tax and gov

    What Apple made oversea already been tax by those countries. Why should they be tax again bring those back to US. I hate to say this but Do you really trust US made products? Look at the US automobile industry. They are not reliable compare to the foreign counterparts ie. german, japanese or even Korean.
    All the politicians want more taxes to spend. I do not see any spending cuts.
    All the talks are to creat class warfares among people instead of working together.

  1. localnet

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    +1

    Sounds like....

    A money grab in the making! How long before Apple moves the entire headquarters to China, or a more business friendly country?

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