Foxconn announces major new manufacturing plant in Wisconsin
Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn on Wednesday announced plans to build a $10 billion LCD display panel screen plant in Wisconsin.
Foxconn, a major supplier to Apple for its iPhones, is formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd. It said last month it plans to invest more than $10 billion in a display-making factory in the United States.
Seven U.S. states have competed for new investments from Foxconn.
Foxconn said in a statement that it will invest $10 billion over the next four years to build a factory that “will create 3,000 jobs with the potential to grow to 13,000 new jobs in that state. It signifies the start of a series of investments by Foxconn in American manufacturing in the coming years.”
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said at a White House event that the state will award $3 billion in incentives and sign a memorandum of understanding on the investment on Thursday.
"This is a great day for America," Walker said, adding that the plant was the largest economic development project in the state's history.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told a Wisconsin TV station that Trump was aboard Marine One over Kenosha, Wis., in April and spotted the site of a former Chrysler plant.
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.
Trump has called for companies to build more products in the United States and open additional plants. He has made several announcements since his election in November about U.S. investments by both foreign and domestic manufacturers, building on his campaign focus on boosting American jobs. Some of those announcements sought to take credit for previously announced investments.
Not all Foxconn investments announced have resulted in new jobs.
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, according to local media reports. Foxconn has another small operation in Pennsylvania.
Wisconsin state Sen. Jennifer Shilling, a Democrat, questioned whether there is "legislative appetite for a $1 (billion) to $3 billion corporate welfare package. ... The bottom line is this company has a concerning track record of big announcements with little follow-through."
Tai Jeng-wu, CEO of Foxconn's Japanese unit Sharp Corp., said in June that six U.S. states were being evaluated for a possible location for a plant to make displays.
The United States has added 70,000 manufacturing jobs since November, to nearly 12.4 million, but has not added any net factory jobs in the past two months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has committed to build three big manufacturing plants in the United States. Apple did not comment.