Why Not Rhode Island?
In an interview with Brian WIlliams, Apple CEO Tim Cook yesterday said:
“We’ve been working for years on doing more and more in the United States. Next year, we will do one of our existing Mac lines in the United States.”
The article doesn’t say where in the US that Apple will begin their manufacturing. Maybe that hasn’t been decided yet. However if you were in charge of a state that was economically distressed and heard this type of news, wouldn’t you immediately perk up and start putting in calls on behalf of your state?
Now before anyone gets excited, I’m not advocating for any EDC-type loans to Apple. I’m fairly certain the company doesn’t need a cash handout. However, if our current corporate tax laws aren’t a good fit, I’d certainly put that on the table for negotiations. I have said many times that we should simply fix the corporate tax laws so these types of negotiations and deals aren’t necessary, but we’re not there yet. If the company wants to move some manufacturing to the US, and a large part of that decision is PR-related, then why not Rhode Island? Imagine the positive PR if in some time, Apple can claim to have saved the Rhode Island economy.
Just as Governor Chafee visited the Dassault headquarters in France recently to keep up relations with the company to the benefit of 350 employees in Rhode Island, he should be looking to begin conversations with a company like Apple. Get Mr. Cook on the phone and invite him to Rhode Island immediately for a site visit. Show them how we have Quonset for shipping, we’re very close to a couple information technology hubs in Boston and New York, and we have a large and available workforce.
If Apple is looking to ship some jobs to the US to build their Mac computers, the leadership in Rhode Island should be sleeping out overnight on CEO Cook’s doorstep looking to get the brand within our borders.