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Obama's Challenge: Make Stuff in Silicon Valley

Yes, it can be done

By Scott Budman
|  Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013  |  Updated 8:41 PM PDT
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With CEO Tim Cook in the first lady's box seat for the State of the Union, President Obama suggested that Apple could be one of many companies to bring manufacturing back to America. So we asked, is Silicon Valley up to the task? Scott Budman reports.

With CEO Tim Cook in the first lady's box seat for the State of the Union, President Obama suggested that Apple could be one of many companies to bring manufacturing back to America. So we asked, is Silicon Valley up to the task? Scott Budman reports.

Photos and Videos

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Pendleton's parents, Nate and Cleo, were seated next to First Lady Michelle Obama to witness the address.

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President Obama made it clear in his State of the Union address: Manufacturing needs to come back to America. By name-checking Apple CEO Tim Cook (conveniently in the First Lady's box seat at the time).

The President made his goal known:

"Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing. After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico. And this year, Apple will start making Macs in America again."

Apple, other than Cook's hints at making at least part of the Mac here, isn't talking.

But IHS, which tracks manufacturing, says contract business (such as what Flextronics in Milpitas does) is set to grow by 4-5 percent this year.

Not sure if that equals 500,000 new jobs, but the trend is already here: Solar panel makers manufacturing in Silicon Valley, along with companies like Intuitive Surgical, which has an awesome facility in the Bay Area to make its robots.

Robots that help doctors perform surgery.

So, we already have the life saving, and the energy saving.

All made here. 

Macs, too? Why not? It will create new jobs, and make the President happy at the same time.

Scott can be found on Twitter: @scottbudman

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