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Foxconn 'Remains Committed' to Wisconsin Plant and Promise of Eventually Employing 13,000 Workers

Apple supplier Foxconn today said that it remains committed to its contract to build a display plant and research facility in Wisconsin (via Reuters). The company's comment comes a few days after Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said that the state wanted to renegotiate the Foxconn deal, partly due to the belief that the Taiwanese company was not expected to reach its goal of creating 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin.


Foxconn's original goal for the project was to eventually employ 13,000 workers on the site, and today the company has confirmed that it "remains committed" to this plan. Foxconn initially announced the project in 2017 at a White House event alongside President Donald Trump. Governor Evers recently took office in January 2019, inheriting the deal to Give Foxconn $4 billion in tax breaks and other incentives.
“Foxconn’s commitment to job creation in Wisconsin remains long term and will span over the length of the WEDC (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation) contract and beyond.”
Over the years, Foxconn's Wisconsin plant has gone through many iterations as the supplier faced new roadblocks and cost-cutting measures. The plant was designated as a TV display factory in its early stages, then pivoted to small to medium-size displays for smartphones, infotainment systems, and other "niche products".

In early 2019, Reuters reported that Foxconn would greatly scale back its plans to produce displays of any kind in Wisconsin and instead focus on research and development. The news came from Louis Woo, assistant to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, who said Foxconn is "not building a factory" in Wisconsin.

According to Woo, the steep cost of making advanced screens for TV sets and other devices in the United States led to the decision. Around the same time, the company confirmed it had slowed its pace of hiring, down to about 5,200 people expected by the end of 2020.

As of now, Foxconn has fallen short of its employment goals in 2018, hiring just 178 full-time workers rather than the 260 it intended to for the year. The supplier has to meet certain hiring and capital investment goals under its current contract to qualify for tax credits in Wisconsin. With its inability to meet the 260 hiring target last year, it failed to earn a tax credit of up to $9.5 million.

Tag: Foxconn


Top Rated Comments

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5 weeks ago

According to Woo, the steep cost of making advanced screens for TV sets and other devices in the United States led to the decision.

Because of American Greed maybe

As long as you define "American greed" as paying a living wage, worker protections, environmental stewardship, and following through on promises made to secure taxpayer funding, yea Americans are greedy. /sarcasm
Rating: 35 Votes
5 weeks ago
The whole thing was nothing more than a PR stunt. There will be no jobs, no long term benefit to the state or workers in Wisconsin.
Rating: 19 Votes
5 weeks ago
Americans can’t compete with manufacturing costs of third world countries and expect to pay the same for the products made in US. There are almost no regulations there, the quality of living is lower and cheaper. Labor gets paid a fraction.
It’s a pipe dream. Adapt or die.
Still amazes me how Americans still fall for this political BS.
Rating: 15 Votes
5 weeks ago

The whole thing was nothing more than a PR stunt. There will be no jobs, no long term benefit to the state or workers in Wisconsin.

To make matters worse, the outgoing Governor Scott Walker, and the outgoing legislature pushed through a ton of "roadblocks" to keep the incoming government from undoing this debacle. They didn't give two whits about the Wisconsinites.
Rating: 10 Votes
5 weeks ago


Still amazes me how Americans still fall for this political BS.


Politicians love to say "See JOBS!!!" and people want to believe they'll get a good paying job with benefits.Telling the hard truths doesn't win elections.
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This is what happens when government and politics gets in the way of business and free markets. Absent these fundamentally unfair tax incentives that favor one company over another, the notion that a business would know in advance how many employees it will eventually hire to manufacture a technology it hasn't even developed or committed to yet is absolutely absurd.


That's the dirty little secret of "economic development incentives." They don't create jobs, they just create winners and losers in terms of where jobs go. If it is profitable to build a plant a company will, if not they won't; economic incentives just make an unprofitable one worthwhile as long as the incentives last. Then you shutter the plant and start the cycle all over elsewhere.
Rating: 7 Votes
5 weeks ago

Except, didn’t the new Wisconsin governor state something about 13,000 jobs seems unrealistic:

Yes, hence the second sentence of the article.
This entire project has been BS.
Rating: 7 Votes
5 weeks ago

As long as you define "American greed" as paying a living wage, worker protections, environmental stewardship, and following through on promises made to secure taxpayer funding, yea Americans are greedy. /sarcasm

Yep, American business has been shortsighted for profit. Now we have generations of the American buying public who simultaneously bemoan the loss of jobs, while also buying the cheaper product made elsewhere. People will have to get introduced to the notion of buying local simply costs more. Want jobs here, vote with your wallet. The other side to this is there is little in the way of a qualified worker base to produce high end electronics on the scale we see done in Asia. That could be changed with more emphasis in trade school training etc. College is simply unnecessary for many people. They leave school in debt with a degree that is essentially useless. Unless it requires a special skill, what is the point anymore? We need more trade schools and vocational programs affiliated with high schools.
Rating: 5 Votes
5 weeks ago
I grew up in suburban Chicago (yes, a true "FIB" to anyone from WI here), but love--LOVE--the state of WI. Most of my closest friends either are from there, went to college there, moved there, or married someone from there. I've been everywhere from Lake Geneva to the UP. I defy anyone to visit and NOT have a great time there and meet some of the finest people you'll ever meet in your life.

That said, it kills me to see what those Republican thugs in the WI legislature did with this deal. They absolutely bankrupted that town to enrich themselves with an obvious swindle. The Mount Pleasant village board of trustees should be paraded through the streets, tarred and feathered, while people spit on them. Here are the facts:


* A town of 26,000 people that has had essentially no population growth in the last 10 years.
* Over 50% of the town don't have a college degree
* Only 1/5 of the town aged over 25 has a bachelor's degree
* The average household income is only $46,000/yr

With these great demographics, the village board authorized a debt of $80 million to buy the land for Foxconn, which Foxconn does not have to pay back. There is no population of high paying jobs/new residents coming to pay off this debt. They got their credit rating downgraded only 9 MONTHS AFTER THE TRUMP/GOU GROUNDBREAKING PHOTO OPP.

If you're familiar with the story of a town in CA called Bell, this is basically the same kind of con, but much worse. Walker & Co. should be held accountable for this mess.
Rating: 5 Votes
5 weeks ago
And I quote from a previous post from an article about much the same:

As a former resident of southeast Wisconsin, I can't see how this would come as a surprise to anyone. The area's politicians are wizards at doing the "This will be great for the area and its residents!!" to the locals when it comes to these sorts of projects.

I'm still pissed about the tax that was put in place in the surrounding Milwaukee counties to fund the Brewer's stadium. You would think the politicos would learn from prior actions - nearly every officeholder who voted for that tax was promptly voted out of office in the next election cycle as the voters promised to do.


Foxconn appears to have scammed the politicians and the residents. Sadly, there are a number of locals who have been affected by this due to land grabs using eminent domain among other such tactics. At least Foxconn isn't meeting benchmarks so they don't get their tax spiffs. The people who suffer are the taxpayers who are funding the development for the factory that won't get built....

MacDann
Rating: 4 Votes
5 weeks ago
Terry Gou talks big but rarely keeps his promises. This clown now wants to run for president of Taiwan.
Rating: 4 Votes

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