April 23, 2019

Foxconn vows to build Wisconsin plant after talk with Trump

03 February 2019, 11:27 | Joann Bryant

What is Foxconn

What is Foxconn

Media reports earlier this week quoted Gou's assistant Louis Woo (胡國輝) as suggesting that the company might scrap the flat screen factory in favor of hiring more high-skilled engineers for research and development - a move that would lead to far fewer blue-collar jobs and run counter to Trump's promises.

On Friday Evers said he believed Foxconn was committed to Wisconsin but said the company needed to do a better job of communicating its intentions.

It said the decision was made after productive discussions between the White House and Foxconn and after a conversation between Trump and Gou.

Mr Trump has repeatedly touted Foxconn's investment in Wisconsin - a politically important state - as proof his economic policies are working.

Many residents in Racine County breathed a sigh of relief on Friday as Foxconn eased their worries about its commitment to southeastern Wisconsin.

Wisconsin lawmakers put together a $3 billion incentives package to lure the company to the state.

Trump tweeted that the development was "great news".

An afternoon recap of the day's most important business news, delivered weekdays. But he says there's "no limit to skepticism" if the company's messaging isn't coherent.

"From what I heard looks like they're going to focus on the generation 6 technology", Evers said.

Foxconn, the world's largest electronics company, said Friday the campus will house both an advanced manufacturing facility and a center of "technology innovation for the region".

Speaking to thousands of Foxconn employees at a Lunar New Year celebration in Taipei yesterday, Gou said investing in the U.S. "is undoubtedly a right decision and fits with future economic trends".

The credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service noted the state's obligation on the Foxconn project in a statement Thursday, which forecasts financial risks for Mount Pleasant, Racine County and Wisconsin.

All along there have been concerns Foxconn may not fulfill its end of the bargain, after it promised in 2013 to build a $30 million factory in Pennsylvania that never materialized.

Wisconsin's then-governor, Scott Walker, offered Foxconn $3 billion in state subsidies for the project, a move that proved to be controversial enough it that may have cost Walker his re-election past year. What was originally billed as a multi-billion dollar deal with thousands of new jobs is now slipping away.

The Nikkei story also said Foxconn isn't planning to fully abandon the Wisconsin project, only "slow the investment pace and scale back a bit at the moment because of weakening macroeconomic conditions and the uncertainties brought by the trade war". Apple is Foxconn's main manufacturing customer and it has forecast a drop in revenue from the Chinese market due to decreasing demand for iPhones.

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