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On the March 6, 2011, edition of ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour, the host asked Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., about the report she had just aired about American competitiveness.
"Well, I think it's obviously a recognition of the reality and the trends, that cheaper, lower-cost labor products will usually prevail over the products made in higher wage and income countries," McCain said. "But I would also point out that, if you'd emptied (a house shown in the earlier segment) -- if you'd left a computer there or an iPad or an iPhone, those are built in the United States of America. And as the president said, continuously, and I agree with him, innovation is the key to us being able to restore our economy."
Critics immediately jumped on McCain’s statement that the devices "are built in the United States of America."
The answer is inscribed on the back of every iPhone: "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China."
When we contacted McCain’s office, spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan confirmed that the senator had been in error and had corrected himself in interviews later on Sunday.
"Sen. McCain is aware the iPhone, iPad, and other Apple products were designed in the United States but manufactured elsewhere," said Buchanan.
In fact, one of Apple’s key manufacturing contractors in China, Foxconn, has attracted attention over the years for allegations of worker abuse. (Apple did not respond to an inquiry for this story.)
It’s true that Apple, a U.S.-based company, has thrived in the global market against foreign-based competitors. But McCain was wrong to suggest that iPads and iPhones "are built in the United States of America." They aren’t. So we rate his comment False.
John McCain, interview on ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour, March 6, 2011
New York Daily News, "John McCain not an iPhone user? Arizona Senator mistakenly says products manufactured in U.S.A.," March 6, 2011
CNN, "McCain flunks Made in America 101," March 6. 2011
New York Times, "IPhone Maker in China Is Under Fire After a Suicide," July 26, 2009
E-mail interview with Brooke Buchanan, spokeswoman for John McCain, March 9, 2011
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