Foxconn Changes Plans for its Wisconsin Facilities

Once promising a major manufacturing facility and 13,000 new jobs, Foxconn is now promising a research and development facility and the number of jobs is much less clear.
January 31, 2019, 8am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Foxconn Technology Group is reconsidering plans for its first U.S. plant, which promised a $10 billion investment and up to 13,000 jobs in southeastern Wisconsin," report Ally Marotti and Lauren Zumbach.

"Specifically, "[t]he Taiwanese electronics giant, which supplies Apple, said Wednesday that it is considering adding research and development work to a facility that it originally said would focus on manufacturing," according to Marotti and Zumbach.

Mark Hogan, chief executive and secretary of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, is quoted in the article saying that the $4 billion in state and local investment promised to the company are dependent on the company meeting certain obligations in investments and hiring. The company also isn't eligible to receive the public funding until 2020. While some local and state officials expressed optimism the company would meet its obligations, others already see a track record of the company changing its position since announcing its intention to build its plant in Wisconsin.

According to a separate article by Jess Macy Yu and Karl Plume, the manufacturing plant would have been the "largest greenfield investment by a foreign-based company in U.S. history." That status could be in question.

The other angle to the story picked up by numerous news outlets is President Trump's messaging after the project was announced in 2019, when he touted his prowess in generating jobs in the United States. In addition to covering that angle, Scott Bauer from the Associated Press also reports on fallout in the Wisconsin state government, where legislators are pushing hard to blame Foxconn's change in plans on new Democratic leadership in the governor's office and in the Legislature.

Update: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also provides in-depth analysis on the likely outcomes of the ongoing Foxconn saga.

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Published on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 in Chicago Tribune
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