AUSTIN, Texas -- Dogged by impeachment hearings in Washington, President Donald Trump made a trip to Texas Wednesday. He joined Apple CEO Tim Cook for a tour of the company's Northwest Austin computer plant to celebrate its expansion in Central Texas.
The plant is where Mac Pro desktop computers are assembled. Apple announced in September it would keep production here and not move it to China after receiving federal tariff exemptions.
The Trump administration is set to impose additional tariffs on China next month. The president said during the facility tour, he's considering giving Apple another exemption, but pointed out the need to keep an even playing field.
"The problem we have is you have Samsung. It's a great company, but it's a competitor of Apple and it's not fair if – because we have a trade deal with Korea. We made a great trade deal with South Korea, but we have to treat Apple on a somewhat similar basis as we treat Samsung," the president said.
Trump also said he's not eager to make a trade deal with China yet because he doesn't believe the country is stepping up to the level that he wants.
Outside the plant, protesters and Trump supporters gathered on opposite sides of the street shouting chants at one another as police stood in between to keep the peace.
This was Trump’s seventh trip to Texas this year. It was not open to the public.