Foxconn U-turns on $10bn Wisconsin factory after call with Trump

Foxconn 'adjusting' Wisconsin factory plans hailed by Trump

Foxconn Damage Control Promises to Stick by Factory Plans in Wisconsin GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA AFP Andy Manis1 Feb 2019

Under Walker, Wisconsin promised nearly $4 billion in state and local tax incentives if the company invested $10 billion and created 13,000 jobs, according to the AP.

Confusion has swirled around electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group's plans for a $10 billion campus in southeast Wisconsin that promised to bring 13,000 jobs - a lot of them blue-collar factory positions - to build high-tech display screens.

Some in the state have blamed Evers for the alleged shifting of Foxconn's plan.

"Foxconn continues to move forward in Wisconsin!" he said.

Foxconn, which makes devices and components for a host of major tech firms including Apple Inc, had planned to build a factory producing LCD flat screen televisions and create about 13,000 jobs.

On Friday, CNBC published an article with the headline, "Foxconn does damage control over Wisconsin factory" - yet when Trump linked to the article on Twitter, he claimed victory: "Great news on Foxconn in Wisconsin after my conversation with Terry Gou!".

The news capped a week of confusion about Foxconn's plans in Wisconsin.

"Foxconn has broken its promises in Pennsylvania, Brazil, China, and now Wisconsin", tweeted Jimmy Anderson, a state representative. That same day Foxconn announces it now plans to build much smaller Generation 6 screens and phase in production of Generation 10.5 screens later.

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However, the latest reports have been described as "deeply troubling" by Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson. However, since the plans were reportedly linked to greater investment, the move is not expected to significantly impact jobs.

Foxconn said Friday that its CEO Terry Gou met with Trump to discuss its plans for the facility, with both indicating that it would in fact manufacture LCD screens.

On Wednesday, however, Foxconn said that it would no longer be building that factory after all.

According to media reports, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn intends to drastically scale back its proposed Wisconsin operation, yet again.

"After productive discussions between the White House and the company, and after a personal conversation between President Donald J. Trump and Chairman Terry Gou, Foxconn is moving forward with our planned construction of a Gen 6 fab facility", according to a company statement.

But Foxconn's repeated changes to its plans led critics of the project this week to accuse Foxconn of a "bait and switch".

"In terms of TV, we have no place in the U.S.", Louis Woo, a special assistant to Gou, told Reuters on Wednesday, citing cost concerns compared with manufacturing in Asia. Evers tells reporters that the company needs to improve its messaging and transparency, saying "there's no limit to skepticism if the messaging isn't coherent".

"While Foxconn was rolling back their commitment to Wisconsin, Speaker Robin Vos and Republican legislators took control of the agency in charge of the Foxconn deal and slashed accountability after Governor Walker lost his re-election", said Analiese Eicher, Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now.

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