Apple CEO promised Trump to build 3 manufacturing plants in US

July 25 (Reuters) - Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook has committed to build three big manufacturing plants in the United States, the Wall Street Journal quoted U.S. President Donald Trump as saying.

"I spoke to (Cook), he's promised me three big plants—big, big, big," Trump told the Journal in an interview on Tuesday.

Trump didn't elaborate on where those plants would be located or when they would be built, the paper reported.

Cook said in May that Apple planned to create a $1 billion fund to invest in U.S. companies that perform advanced manufacturing. He also said the company intended to fund programs that could include teaching people how to write computer code to create apps.

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 9: Apple CEO Tim Cook gestures on stage during an Apple special event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 9, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Apple Inc. announced the new MacBook as well as more details on the much anticipated Apple Watch, the tech giant's entry into the rapidly growing wearable technology segment as well (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 9: Apple CEO Tim Cook stands in front of an MacBook on display after an Apple special event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 9, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Apple Inc. announced the new MacBook as well as more details on the much anticipated Apple Watch, the tech giant's entry into the rapidly growing wearable technology segment as well (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 9: Apple CEO Tim Cook waves from stage after an Apple special event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 9, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Apple Inc. announced the new MacBook as well as more details on the much anticipated Apple Watch, the tech giant's entry into the rapidly growing wearable technology segment as well (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., right, waves to customers while leaving the sales launch for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus at the Apple Inc. store in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Apple Inc.'s stores attracted long lines of shoppers for the debut of the latest iPhones, indicating healthy demand for the bigger-screen smartphones. The larger iPhone 6 Plus is already selling out at some stores across the U.S. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., left, and the band U2 gesture during a product announcement at Flint Center in Cupertino, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. Apple Inc. unveiled redesigned iPhones with bigger screens, overhauling its top-selling product in an event that gives the clearest sign yet of the company's product direction under Cook. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CUPERTINO, CA - OCTOBER 16: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an Apple special event on October 16, 2014 in Cupertino, California. Apple unveiled the new iPad Air 2 tablet, iPad Mini 3 and a Retina iMac. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 02: Apple CEO Tim Cook walks off stage after speaking during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone West center on June 2, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Tim Cook kicked off the annual WWDC which is typically a showcase for upcoming updates to Apple hardware and software. The conference runs through June 6. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 17: (CHINA OUT) Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc., visits a China Mobile shop to celebrate the launch of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C on China Mobile's fourth generation (4G) network on January 17, 2014 in Beijing, China. Apple Inc. and China Mobile Limited, the world's largest carrier with over 760 million subscribers, signed a deal on December 23, 2013 after six years of negotiations. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., displays the iPad Air for a photograph during a press event at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. Apple Inc. introduced new iPads in time for holiday shoppers, as it battles to stay ahead of rivals in the increasingly crowded market for tablet computers. Photographer: Noah Berger/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Apple came under fire from Trump during his campaign because it makes most of its products in China.

"We're gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries," Trump had said in a speech in January last year. (http://reut.rs/2tACzRk)

Apple, on its part, had been making disclosures to highlight how it had been contributing to job creation in the United States.

Cook said in February that Apple spent $50 billion in 2016 with its U.S. suppliers.

The world's largest company by market valuation had also claimed that it created 2 million jobs in the United States, 80,000 of which are directly at Apple and the rest coming from suppliers and developers for the company's app ecosystem.

Trump's comments on Tuesday were some of the first he has made regarding Apple's manufacturing since assuming the presidency.

"I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won't consider my administration an economic success," the Journal quoted Trump as saying.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump also said that Foxconn, a major Apple supplier, plans to build a big plant in the United States and is "strongly considering" putting it in Wisconsin, the Journal reported.

Foxconn said last month it plans to invest more than $10 billion in a display-making factory in the United States.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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