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President Donald Trump will be in Austin Wednesday; plans to tour new Apple plant

Posted at 7:18 AM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 08:40:05-05

"President Donald Trump is coming to Austin on Wednesday. Here’s what to expect." was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

President Donald Trump will be in Austin on Wednesday for a tour of a new Apple manufacturing plant.

Trump has had six public visits to Texas this year, during a time in which questions have been raised about whether the dependably red state will be competitive in the 2020 elections. Here's what you need to know about his visit.

What is he doing here?

Trump will tour the plant and hear about product assembly.

The plant, where the new Mac Pro desktop computer will be manufactured, is the tech giant’s most recent expansion in Austin and is projected to create thousands of new jobs.

Why is Apple meeting with Trump?

Apple CEO Tim Cook is a member of the Trump administration’s American Workforce Policy Advisory Board.

Last summer, the company signed the Trump administration’s Pledge to America’s Workers and committed to creating 10,000 training opportunities for American workers and students over the next five years. Apple is one of the biggest private employers in Austin, and its presence is growing. Last December, the company announced a $1 billion investment on a new campus in Austin that would accommodate 5,000 new employees.

Who is he here with?

Trump will be joined by Cook, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, senior adviser to the president Jared Kushner and adviser to the president Ivanka Trump.

Representative Bill Flores traveled with President Trump on Air Force One.

What is he promoting?

The visit gives Trump a chance to tout Apple’s billion-dollar Austin expansion. Apple continued its Austin expansion after being approved for tariff exemptions in September to allow the import of key Mac Pro parts from China.

Trump has long pushed an “America first” platform, and increasing jobs was one of his major campaign promises. In 2018, he implemented several tariffs on imported goods like solar panels, steel and aluminum to promote United States-based manufacturing. But these tariffs led to retaliatory tariffs by a number of governments, including the European Union and India. Trump also set and escalated tariffs on goods imported from China, which led to an ongoing trade war.

Can the public attend?

No. There is no public event scheduled during Trump’s time in Austin. There are dueling public political events, however. At 1 p.m., the Trump Victory Committee will host an anti-impeachment rally called "Stop the Madness!" featuring Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey, Travis County Republican Party Chairman Matt Mackowiak and other Trump supporters.

Texas Democrats, meanwhile, will host "a workers roundtable event exposing Donald Trump’s failed economic record for working Texans." That 9:30 a.m. event, at the Texas AFL-CIO headquarters, will feature Austin Mayor Steve Adler and multiple Democratic state representatives.

Apple and Steve Adler, a former Tribune board chairman, have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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