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.

wisconsin foxconn
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

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Top Rated Comments

Stevez67 Avatar
68 months 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
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jmgregory1 Avatar
68 months 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.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gugy Avatar
68 months 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.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
68 months 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.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThunderSkunk Avatar
68 months 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.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jlc1978 Avatar
68 months 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.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)