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Nov. 20, 2019, 4:30 p.m. EST

Trump heads to meet Tim Cook at $1 billion Apple plant in Texas

President says impeachment inquiry should be ‘all over’ after Sondland testimony

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By Greg Robb and Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch


AFP/Getty Images Enlarge Image
President Donald Trump speaks alongside Apple CEO Tim Cook last March.

President Donald Trump flew to Austin, Texas, on Wednesday for a tour of an Apple plant given by the company’s chief executive, Tim Cook, leaving Washington as another key witness testified in the impeachment probe.

COOK AND TRUMP

Like Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in their famous “Road” movies, Trump and Cook make strange bedfellows. But their close bond was expected to be on display in a tour given by Cook of the new $1 billion Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +0.82%   manufacturing plant in Austin.

Apple’s new campus will employ 5,000 people when it opens in 2022. The company has said it would make its new Mac Pro at an existing plant in August, reversing earlier plans to move production overseas.

SONDLAND TESTIMONY

Leaving the White House to fly to Texas, Trump told reporters that the testimony from Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the EU, to the impeachment inquiry had exonerated him. “That means it’s all over,” Trump said. The president read reporters a portion of Sondland’s testimony concerning an early September call with the president. Sondland testified the president told him he wanted “nothing” from Ukraine and wanted “no quid pro quo.”

Trump said he did not know Sondland very well. “I have not spoken to him very much. Seems like a nice guy though,” he said.

Read: Sondland says Ukraine aid was tied to quid pro quo’

MEXICO, CANADA...AND CHINA

Trump warned Wednesday that Mexico and Canada are “ready to flee” the new trade pact to replace the Nafta deal. The president is impatient that the USMCA hasn’t been approved by Congress. In a tweet, the president called Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi the “least productive” speaker in history. Last week, Pelosi said she aims to approve the new deal by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, trade talks between the U.S. and China are on the verge of unraveling the Trump administration’s plan for a limited “phase-one” pact this year, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing former administration sources and others.

As he was leaving the White House, Trump said the U.S. continues to talk with China.

“China wants to make a deal, the question is do I want to make a deal, because I like what is happening right now,” he said. The tariffs in place are bringing in billions of dollars, he said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.02%  and the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.03% were downbeat on the report.

Read: Wall Street doubts grow as U.S. and China struggle to finish off ‘skinny’ trade deal

/zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 269.11
+2.19 +0.82%
Volume: 12.13M
Dec. 10, 2019 12:00p
P/E Ratio
22.75
Dividend Yield
1.14%
Market Cap
$1186.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.98M
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/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
27,904.10
-5.50 -0.02%
Volume: 78.10M
Dec. 10, 2019 12:00p
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,136.90
+0.94 +0.03%
Volume: 589.90M
Dec. 10, 2019 12:00p
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Greg Robb is a senior reporter for MarketWatch in Washington. Follow him on Twitter @grobb2000. Robert Schroeder is the White House reporter for MarketWatch. Follow him on Twitter @mktwrobs.

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