Foxconn Technology Group is reconsidering plans to make advanced liquid crystal display panels at a $10 billion Wisconsin campus, and said it meant to hire mostly engineers and researchers rather than the manufacturing workforce the project originally promised.
In a joint statement, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and the Senate majority leader, Scott Fitzgerald, said it was "not surprising Foxconn would rethink building a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin under the Evers administration". We were promised a game-changing economic opportunity for our state.
On Wednesday, Taiwanese electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn dropped a bombshell on Wisconsin: their $10 billion new campus in the state will not be devoted primarily to manufacturing LCD screens as promised.
Foxconn's announcement also comes with the U.S. economy showing signs of slowing just as campaigning for the 2020 election gears up, with the state of Wisconsin a key battleground.
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The Office of the Governor said in a Wednesday statement it has been in contact with senior leadership at Foxconn since the Reuters story was published. It did not help matters that Foxconn has a history of broken promises - one plant they promised to build in Pennsylvania never happened - and of using robots instead of workers. However, Woo's preferred option is manufacturing in China, assembly in Mexico, and import into the U.S. for sale. It does most of its manufacturing in the mainland, sells products to Americans and faces pressure from both sides to maintain or create new jobs.
However, the latest news could dent the image he likes to project of the dealer-in-chief who can deliver, and comes soon after he backed down in his standoff with Democrats over his Mexican border wall in a dispute that closed the government for a month.
Still says the company has already invested as much as $200 million in Wisconsin and it's unlikely to pull out.
Foxconn said in its statement that it was broadening its base of investment in Wisconsin to ensure the company and workforce will be positioned for long-term success. So far it has hired 178 employees. Governor Evers has an anti-jobs agenda and pledged to do away with a successful business incentive for manufacturing and agriculture. They also said the massive plant that was relying on water from nearby Lake Michigan posed serious environmental risks.
"From the very beginning, we looked out for the best interest of the taxpayers of the state". The White House had no immediate comment.
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Foxconn, Apple Inc.'s main manufacturing partner, is also dealing with a slowdown in demand for iPhones.
"So I do think that there is a lot of positive things that are yet to come knowing Mr. Gou and Foxconn", said Republican Representative Pat Snyder who represents Wisconsin's 85th Assembly District.
"And now, it appears Foxconn is living up to their failed track record in the USA - leaving another state and community high and dry".
Democratic critics said the incentives promised to Foxconn were too rich, and they questioned whether the company would ever fulfill its promises.
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