Thursday, 17 August, 2017

Wisconsin governor defends $3 bln deal for Foxconn plant

Flood damage in Kenosha County Flood damage in Kenosha County
Debra Rodriguez | 31 July, 2017, 01:20

Foxconn was exploring investments in seven states including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. Tim Casey, director of economic development for Waukesha County Center for Growth, Inc. said they are working to match Foxconn with manufacturers in the county based on the parts and materials the company needs. Some of those states, including Wisconsin, were pivotal to Mr. Trump's victory in 2016, and are home to numerous working-class voters who were seen as key to his win. Trump's plans for health care and tax cuts face an uncertain future in Congress, and his administration is bogged down by an investigation into Russia's possible ties with his presidential campaign. President Trump announced that the Foxconn Technology Group will spend $10 billion to build a plant in Wisconsin, as CEO Terry Gou stood alongside.

"If I didn't get elected, he definitely would not be spending $10 billion", Trump said.

When Foxconn executives met with Trump in the Oval Office, "the president said I know a good spot where you should go - that place in Kenosha", Priebus recounted.

"To have this open and begin to be operational by 2020, we need to start now". The campus will cover up to 1,000 acres.

The plant will be in House Speaker Paul Ryan's district, and represents a big win for the Republican leader. This would mark a substantial gain for a state that now has 472,000 manufacturing jobs and is still recovering from factory layoffs - including the closure of a General Motors plant in Ryan's hometown - that hit after the 2008 financial crisis.

Little known to consumers, the maker of iPhones and other gadgets is a giant in the electronics industry thanks to its dominant position in the global manufacturing supply chain. Adding thousands of new workers will require construction of thousands of new homes, and already-depleted housing inventory in Wisconsin, like much of the country, makes that a bigger challenge.

The two companies will also focus on workforce development and training for IIoT solutions as Foxconn (hopefully) increases its US presence.

In 2013, Foxconn said it would invest $30 million and hire 500 workers for a new factory in Pennsylvania, but that facility was never completed.

Governor Walker's executive order requires the Legislature to commence the Wisconn Valley Special Session at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 1st, exclusively to consider and act upon the legislation. The remaining $150 million would come in the form of a sales and use tax exemption linked to construction costs.

Walker said he would convene a special session of the Wisconsin Legislature to address the Foxconn incentive package.

Reports that Wisconsin will pay $3B in subsidies in return for Foxconn opening a display plant there have been confirmed, with a breakdown of the incentives.

Not all Foxconn investments announced have resulted in new jobs.

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