When Cramer pointed out the $1 billion in seed money is a small slice of Apple’s $256 billion cash reserve, Cook pointed out that to get $1 billion in cash in the U.S., Apple would have to borrow some of it. “It’s $1 billion of our U.S. money, which we have to borrow to get. That’s another whole topic,” he said.
The other topic, of course, is taxes. Most of Apple’s cash reserves are held overseas, and Trump has spoken about a deal to let American companies in a similar position bring some of that cash home while getting a break on the taxes.
Cramer continued, “You know, President Trump’s saying, ‘we’ve got to give him repatriation. Who knows what he’ll do with all that money over there. We’ve got to give them the tax break.’ I mean, would you work closely with the President to get some of these things done so that you can do more job creation?”
Cook’s response was affirmative, of course. “I actually think comprehensive tax reform is so important to this economy. If you think about it, many, many companies now sell globally. If you sell globally, you earn money globally. If you earn money globally, you can’t bring it back into the United States unless you pay 35 percent plus your state tax. And you look at this and you go, ‘this is kind of bizarre.’ You want people to use this money in the United States to invest more.”
“We are in a good position, but an unusual one,” Cook continued. “Our good position is we can borrow. And so to invest in the United States, we have to borrow. This doesn’t make sense on a broad basis, and the administration, you saw that they’re really getting this, and want to bring this back. And I hope that that comes to pass.”
Hinting at new products?
Apple doesn’t talk about products in the pipeline, but that doesn’t stop every interviewer from asking anyway. Cramer asked about everything. Tim demurred every time.
“Car?” Cramer tried.
“I can’t say,” Cook replied. “I can’t say that.”
When Cramer asked about Health, Cook mentioned losing 30 pounds with the help of his Apple Watch, then Cramer quickly moved on to artificial intelligence. Cook: “I don’t want to get into details, but there’s a lot more there.”
Cook himself then brought up augmented reality, but only to give his vague stock answer: “This is something we’re really excited about.”
Cramer even played the Dad Card, pleading with Cook for the release date of the next iPhone, “because I want to get my daughter a new phone. I just need to know when.” (Nice try, Cramer—does any parent really want to get their kid a new phone? Or did he mean he wants his own new phone and will give his old one to the kid?)
Cook told him to get an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus.
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