Foxconn changes tune on southeastern Wisconsin

Foxconn changes tune on southeastern Wisconsin

Woo told Reuters about three-quarters of Foxconn's eventual Wisconsin jobs would be in research, development and design. "We can't compete." Woo also said a factory would not be built in Wisconsin: "You can't use a factory to view our Wisconsin investment".

Louis Woo, the special assistant to Foxconn chief executive Terry Gou, told the press service that the company was still considering its options in Wisconsin, but said the cost of manufacturing TVs in the USA was simply too high.

Rather than manufacturing LCD panels in the United States, Woo said it would be more profitable to make them in greater China and Japan, ship them to Mexico for final assembly, and import the finished product to the United States.

The Associated Press reported that Foxconn said in a statement Wednesday that it was still committed to creating 13,000 jobs, but would not recommit to the $10 billion investment it previously vowed.

Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn is abandoning a much-touted plan to build a sprawling factory in Wisconsin that would have employed blue-collar workers, opting to instead establish a research center that will employ engineers and other highly educated workers.

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's also not surprising Foxconn would rethink building a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin under the Evers administration". That includes focusing on research and development in advanced industrial internet technologies and producing high-tech applications and solutions for industries such as education, medical and health care, entertainment and sports, security and management of municipal services, Foxconn said.

Foxconn, a major Apple supplier, had pledged to invest $10bn (£7.6bn) in the plant, which was expected to initially employ 3,000 people, with a potential for up to 13,000, mainly entry-level jobs. Tony Evers, a Democrat who was critical of Foxconn in his campaign against Walker, could not be reached for comment. That's something Foxconn had already acknowledged was likely in November when The Wall Street Journal reported that the company was planning to import workers from Taiwan and China to meet its hiring goals in Wisconsin.

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It had already fallen short previous year, hiring 178 full-time employees rather than the 260 targeted, and failed to earn a state tax credit worth up to $9.5 million.

Hintz says the state was promised manufacturing jobs and a "game changing economic opportunity".

And though Foxconn has restated their intent to fulfill their 13,000 job promise, doing so may be a fool's errand.

"I remain skeptical that the Foxconn project will ever play out as advertised", Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, told Bloomberg last week.

Wisconsin's Republican legislative leaders are blaming Evers for Foxconn's decision. "Today we're seeing the results of the pro-America agenda". But he says it appears Foxconn may be "leaving another state and community high and dry".

While Trump has not responded to the Foxconn announcement CNN quoted an official as saying: "The president has created one of the strongest business climates in American history because he lowered taxes and massively cut regulations".

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