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Apple says it spent $50 billion last year with U.S. suppliers

By Stephen Nellis

By Stephen Nellis

CUPERTINO, Calif. (Reuters) - Apple <AAPL.O> spent roughly $50 billion last year at U.S.-based suppliers including 3M <MMM.N> and Corning <GLW.N>, Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Tuesday, stressing the iPhone-maker's commitment to U.S. manufacturing.

Speaking at an annual shareholder meeting, Cook gave the previously undisclosed data at a time when Apple has come under pressure from President Donald Trump for building its iPhones in China. Apple also wants to work with Trump on issues like bringing back its offshore profits at lower tax rates.

"We're always looking for more ways to help our country. We know that Apple can only exist in the U.S.,” Cook told shareholders.

Apple's stock is trading at record highs on expectations of improved iPhone demand this year following a decline in sales in 2016.

Shareholders at the meeting at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California defeated a proxy proposal that would have let them nominate two directors on the company's board. The proposal won 31.9 percent of votes.

Shareholders also defeated a proposal to require Apple executives to retain their shares until they retire. That vote won 24.2-percent support.

An advisory vote to approve executive pay won 95.2 percent support.

Apple's stock has surged 41 percent over the past 12 months. On Tuesday, it was up 0.21 percent at $137.21, on track for a record high close.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis, writing by Noel Randewich; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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