"Tim Cook is a great guy — the head of Apple," Trump said at an event in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania on Thursday. "In the news, I heard $350 billion, I thought, 'You mean $350 million? That's going to be a beautiful plant.' They said, 'No, it's three-hundred and fifty billion dollars.' And I just called Tim Cook and I thanked him. But I don't imagine there has ever been an investment that big in this country."
Apple announced on Wednesday that it would make a $350 billion "contribution" to the U.S. economy over the next five years, including a tax bill of $38 billion, $5 billion toward manufacturing, $30 billion in capital expenditures, $55 billion in yearly payments to suppliers, and the creation of 20,000 new jobs.
At least part of the money, the $38 billion tax bill, will come from a change in U.S. tax law under the Trump administration that lowered the incentive to store cash overseas. While those taxes appear to cover nearly all of Apple's massive cash hoard, the company has not revealed whether that cash will be used on U.S. acquisitions, research, or dividends and stock buybacks.
Nonetheless, Apple is one of many companies that have upped expectations for U.S. investment amid scrutiny of Silicon Valley.
Less than 2 years ago, Trump said on the campaign trail that his supporters should boycott Apple products, because of the company's stance on encryption in a terrorism investigation. Later in 2016, then president-elect Donald Trump publicly called out Apple's reliance on China, telling The New York Times that he would "get Apple to build a big plant in the United States, or many big plants in the United States."
Apple did not immediately respond to a request to confirm the conversation between Trump and Cook.