Foxconn Gives Sharp the Lead on $7 Billion U.S. Manufacturing Plant

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Following weeks of reports and speculation on the potential opening of a United States-based factory built by Apple suppliers Foxconn and Sharp, a report from Reuters today states that Sharp is "taking the lead" on a $7 billion plant in the U.S. that was initially outlined by parent company Foxconn. The plant will break ground sometime in the first half of 2017.

The timing of the news coincides with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's incoming meeting with President Donald Trump, the driving force behind the recent glut of U.S. iPhone manufacturing news. In a phone call with Apple CEO Tim Cook in December, Trump said it will be a "real achievement" for his Presidency when he gets Apple to shift device manufacturing stateside.

foxconn sharp iphone

A decision by Foxconn to give Sharp the lead would come as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepares to travel to the United States to meet U.S. President Donald Trump, who in his inauguration speech vowed to put "America first".

In a package Tokyo hopes will please Trump, Abe will unveil investments to create as many as 700,000 U.S. jobs, people familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier.

Abe will visit Trump at his private Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida over the weekend, where the two leaders will play golf, following a meeting on Friday in Washington.

Sharp previously cited interest in building U.S. plants for LCD panel construction for TV sets and home appliances. Foxconn's rumored U.S. plans are more closely aligned with Apple through a proposed $7 billion joint investment with the Cupertino company, which would potentially lead to a display manufacturing facility in the country. Sharp now appears to be spearheading that project.

According to people familiar with the matter, PM Abe will present a plan to create more than 700,000 jobs through U.S.-based operations and include a variety of manufacturing companies, as well as Foxconn and Sharp. As usual, a Sharp spokesperson said that no official decision has yet been made on building a factory within the U.S.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

mozumder Avatar
50 months ago
Those 700,000 jobs are temporary construction jobs or are overseas. For high-tech products, the U.S. plants would be highly automated, maybe employing 1,000 people. They won't be like the old plants that employ 50,000 people.

Sorry kids, but those massive factory jobs are never coming back to the US. Americans priced themselves out of the labor force, and you shouldn't punish consumers with higher prices in order to support American workers. If you want handouts because you can't compete, ask for handouts. Don't punish the poor and the retirees on fixed income by raising their prices through tariffs.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iReality85 Avatar
50 months ago

Those 700,000 jobs are temporary construction jobs or are overseas. For high-tech products, the U.S. plants would be highly automated, maybe employing 1,000 people. They won't be like the old plants that employ 50,000 people.

Sorry kids, but those massive factory jobs are never coming back to the US. Americans priced themselves out of the labor force, and you shouldn't punish consumers with higher prices in order to support American workers. If you want handouts because you can't compete, ask for handouts. Don't punish the poor and the retirees on fixed income by raising their prices through tariffs.

Except your analysis is exceptionally one-dimensional.

It's never 'just' 1,000 jobs added by a manufacturing plant. It's all the additional and ancillary jobs added or expanded because those 1,000 jobs are being brought in. By the way, 1,000 jobs for a high tech manufacturing plant is a rather conservative figure.

I'll give an anecdotal- but entirely relevant- example. I live in Albany, NY. If you're from New York or have lived here within the past decade (or a tech nerd), there's a good chance you've heard of Global Foundries. GloFo is a major worldwide manufacturer of CPUs. If you've bought an iPhone, an Xbox, or a Playstation in the last several years, there's a good chance the CPU was manufactured right up the road from me.

You can't get any more high tech than CPUs and all the processes involved in making them. Having GloFo build their Fab here added 'just' 5,000 permanent, new, well paying jobs. As in, positions directly hired by Global Foundries, so administrative, sales, procurement, engineering, etc. But there's more. Now you have to factor in the local unions, who are given labor contracts to maintain all the tools and machines, of which there are a lot of (I am involved in this part of the chain- we hire local union labor and are contracted with GloFo to maintain them). Next are the material vendors, who supply pretty important things that high tech manufacturing needs, like raw materials, noble gasses, piping- anything that goes into the final product or maintains, repairs, and adds to the existing infrastructure of the Fab.

But wait, there's more! GloFo is good at building CPUs, but not really good at building Fabs. So in order for the Fab to be built, they contracted the work out to an architectural firm capable of building state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. Enter M+W, which is based in Germany. But Germany and the US are pretty far apart (and that's bad for logistics), so what did M+W do? They brought all of their workers into the area and set up permanent shop here. And since then, New York State also chose them to engineer and construct all their Nanotech Science buildings for SUNY, because hey why not. So even more jobs.

Lastly, since all these new jobs, expanded jobs, and billions of dollars have flowed into the area over the last decade, people of course have to have something to spend their money on. So you have retail chains moving in, fancy food stores, new entertainment (many of which I thought I'd never see around here), and all of which require jobs themselves. More new jobs! And all these new people moving into the area require places to live, and builders are still having a hard time keeping up with demand for new apartment and housing developments.

All from 'just' 5,000 permanent new jobs at a new plant.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0007776 Avatar
50 months ago

Wasn't plans to build a plant in the US, in the works many years ago?
I'm sure Trump will claim otherwise.

If they are planning to break ground this year then yes they were. Plans like that don't come together overnight, and if they do then they are probably skipping some important steps in the design and engineering.
[doublepost=1486571534][/doublepost]

It's not companies that are stingy. It's people like YOU that are stingy, because YOU don't want to pay $1,200 for an iPhone to support US manufacturing.

Don't blame companies, when it's people like YOU that are at fault.

It's both, you also didn't use to have such insane margins on consumer products.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eltoslightfoot Avatar
50 months ago

Those 700,000 jobs are temporary construction jobs or are overseas. For high-tech products, the U.S. plants would be highly automated, maybe employing 1,000 people. They won't be like the old plants that employ 50,000 people.

Sorry kids, but those massive factory jobs are never coming back to the US. Americans priced themselves out of the labor force, and you shouldn't punish consumers with higher prices in order to support American workers. If you want handouts because you can't compete, ask for handouts. Don't punish the poor and the retirees on fixed income by raising their prices through tariffs.

Still, is it not better to have the long-term jobs (probably more than a thousand, but you are correct in your idea--if they weren't so automated, it wouldn't be cost effective to have them here) in the USA?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
s2mikey Avatar
50 months ago

Those 700,000 jobs are temporary construction jobs or are overseas. For high-tech products, the U.S. plants would be highly automated, maybe employing 1,000 people. They won't be like the old plants that employ 50,000 people.

Sorry kids, but those massive factory jobs are never coming back to the US. Americans priced themselves out of the labor force, and you shouldn't punish consumers with higher prices in order to support American workers. If you want handouts because you can't compete, ask for handouts. Don't punish the poor and the retirees on fixed income by raising their prices through tariffs.

They arent coming back because companies are too cheap and stingy to support the workforce and its a race to the bottom. Its called sucking the shareholder knob. We used to have factories here and people made decent livings. Then, at some point a miserable Wall-Street grinch said enough and that was the end of that.

And NO, unions are NOT the answer either. Companies just did it because it was right.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
satchmo Avatar
50 months ago


In a phone call with Apple CEO Tim Cook in December, Trump said it will be a "real achievement" for his Presidency when he gets Apple to shift device manufacturing stateside.

Wasn't plans to build a plant in the US, in the works many years ago?
I'm sure Trump will claim otherwise.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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