Taiwanese electronics firm will stick to Wisconsin factory plans after talking to Trump

Foxconn raised eyebrows this week when it said it would switch to a “research and development” focus after receiving billions in incentives

TRD CHICAGO /
Feb.February 03, 2019 10:30 AM

U.S. President Donald Trump (C) speaks as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (L) and Foxconn CEO Terry Gou look on at the groundbreaking for the Foxconn Technology Group computer screen plant on June 28, 2018 in Mt Pleasant, Wisconsin (Credit: Getty)

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group decided not to alter its plans for a $10 billion manufacturing campus in southeast Wisconsin after all, soothing worries the company may not hire the 13,000 local workers it originally promised.

The company issued a statement Wednesday suggesting it might build a “research and development” campus instead of a factory to manufacture screens, but after speaking with President Donald Trump on Friday, Foxconn confirmed it would stick to the original plan, according to the Associated Press.

Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and other state leaders last year held up the promise of widespread job creation to justify the nearly $4 billion in public incentives they offered to get the company to put its 787-acre campus in the state.

Foxconn executives said they’re still committed to creating 13,000 jobs in the region, and the state only will offer tax credits starting in 2020 if the company meets job creation targets.

Gov. Tony Evers said he spoke Friday with Foxconn executive Louis Woo and was assured the factory plan was still going forward, adding there would be “no limit to skepticism” unless the company adopted more consistent messaging.

The facility groundbreaking last year in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, about 60 miles north of Chicago, was credited for a spike in surrounding industrial construction activity, pushing Lake County, Illinois industrial vacancy down to 4.7 percent, according to Avison Young. [AP] — Alex Nitkin


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