Foxconn Technology Group said Wednesday that its planned $ 10 billion Wisconsin University campus has been diverted away from producing a blue collar to a research center while insisting that it remains committed to creating 13,000 jobs.
The very ballyhooed plant was announced by President Donald Trump and once in Wisconsin Gov Scott Walker as a one-generation generation to return production to the Midwest and the United States. Foxconn, the leading Apple supplier, is considered to be the world's largest electronics contractor and China's largest private employer.
In a statement Wednesday, Foxconn said it was still committed to the project, creating 13,000 jobs and "our long-term investment in Wisconsin." But since the global market environment that existed when the project was first announced in 2017 has changed, "it has made it necessary to adapt all projects, including Wisconsin."
Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn's CEO Terry Gou, told Reuters on Wednesday that its plans to build liquid crystal display panels are being reduced and possibly put back.
"In terms of TV, we don't have space in the US," Woo told Reuters. "We can't compete."
Woo said it would be more profitable to make LCD panels in larger China and Japan, send them to Mexico for final assembly and import the finished product to the US.
When it comes to TV, we have no place in the US. We can't compete. – Louis Woo, Special Assistant to Terry Gou, Foxconn Manager
He said it would be a supply chain that fits Foxconn's current "liquid, good business model".
Woo said the factory would not be built in Wisconsin: "You can't use the factory to see our Wisconsin investment."
Instead, Woo said Foxconn wanted to create a "technology hub" that would largely consist of research equipment along with packing and assembly operations. Woo said that about three-quarters of the jobs created will be in research and development and design, not in the production of the blue collar.
This increases the chances of a Wisconsin workforce demographic situation that many skilled engineers and other professionals should accept from the state.
Great government support for the deal
In its statement, Foxconn stated that it is expanding its investment base in Wisconsin to ensure that the company and the workforce are placed on long-term success. This means that Foxconn said it focused on research and development of advanced industrial internet technologies and the production of high-tech applications and solutions in sectors such as education, medicine and healthcare, entertainment and sport, security and smart cities.
The Taiwanese company, with its first North American manufacturing facility using a massive 1.86 million square meter Wisconsin University, presented the next generation of liquid crystal display panels to be used in a wide range of products, including large-screen TVs – driving cars, notebooks and other monitors.
The Wisconsin State and Local Authorities promised about $ 4 billion in Foxconn, the biggest stimulus in the country's history and promised by the largest state in the US corporation's history. Foxconn had to invest $ 10 billion and create 13,000 jobs in order to get full incentives.
It leased 178 full-time jobs instead of 260, which was expected in 2018, unable to earn a state tax credit of up to $ 9.5 million.
Wisconsin Gov Tony Evers, a Democrat who criticized Foxconn's campaign against Walker, the press spokesman did not immediately return to the report that was looking for a comment. A representative of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation who made the deal with Foxconn also did not return immediately.
Every Foxconn overdo and under-supply. This message is devastating for Wisconsin taxpayers.– Gordon Hint, national democrat
The Wisconsin Republican legislator, who pushed for the Foxconn project, also did not receive instant reports on Wednesday.
There was no immediate comment on the White House on Wednesday. Last summer, Trump emphasized its economic policy in the revolutionary event of the massive Foxconn complex, which initially could be mentioned by public officials at 11 football pitches.
"America is open to business more than ever has been open to business. Made in the USA: It's all happening and it's going very fast," Trump said in June after visiting Foxconn. "Today we see the results of the pro-American agenda. America, firstly, put America back again. The biggest phrase ever used in politics, I suspect."
Democratic critics, including Evers, said that the incentives Foxconn had promised were too rich and questioned whether the company would ever fulfill its promises of job creation and investment. They also said that a massive facility based on water from nearby Michigan Lake posed a serious threat to the environment.
"Foxconn has breached its promises in Pennsylvania, Brazil, China and now in Wisconsin. Everywhere they go, they have used taxpayers in their pockets," Jimmy Anderson, a lawmaker in the democratic state said Wednesday on Wednesday. Anderson's social media item was retweeted by Mark Pocan, Democratic Congressman, representing Wisconsin in Washington, DC.
Democratic Wisconsin Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz said in a statement that the revised Foxconn plans were "devastating to Wisconsin taxpayers".
"Every Foxconn overdo and under-supply," said Hintz.
"And now, Foxconn seems to be living with the unfortunate achievements of the US – leaving another country and community high and dry."