Foxconn Technology Group is reconsidering plans to make advanced liquid crystal display panels at a $10 billion Wisconsin campus, and said it meant to hire mostly engineers and researchers rather than the manufacturing workforce the project originally promised.
Foxconn Technology Group brought its own big chill on January 30, 2019, with a news report saying the Taiwan tech giant is reconsidering plans to make advanced liquid crystal display panels at its Racine County campus. "As we have previously noted, the global market environment that existed when the project was first announced has changed", the company said. Governor Evers has an anti-jobs agenda and pledged to do away with a successful business incentive for manufacturing and agriculture.
"The state of Wisconsin is investing in a once-in-a-lifetime economic development opportunity that will be transformational as the state will become home to the only LCD manufacturing facility outside of Asia", Mark Maley, spokesman for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, told The Washington Post in a November email.
Evers has yet to comment on the Foxconn development.
"Given global economic conditions and the trade tensions between China and the USA, we have to be responsible to our employees and customers, and it's impossible that we can always stay committed to our original plan without any change", Woo said. The plant is under construction and scheduled to open in 2020.
Marc Levine, senior fellow and founding director of the University of Wisconsin's Center of Economic Development, called it "one enormous bait and switch".
"The administration is in regular, weekly communication with senior leadership at Foxconn", said Gov.
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The plans, and the jobs, may now be curtailed or even killed.
The Taiwan-based company billed the massive 1.86-million-square-metre Wisconsin campus as its first North American manufacturing site for the next generation of liquid crystal display panels to be used in a wide variety of products, including large-screen TVs, self-driving cars, notebooks and other monitors. The price tag for the state of $3 billion did not seem to justify 13,000 jobs - that works out to $230,000 of taxpayer money spent on each $54,000 job created. Foxconn fell short of its employment goal in 2018, hiring 80 fewer people than the 260 it promised and missing a $9.5 million state tax credit.
The massive scale of the Foxconn project was a major selling point for former Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who boasted that once it was finally built, the Wisconsin plant would be the size of "11 Lambeau fields". Tony Evers' state Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan. They said he had created an air of economic uncertainty by supporting elimination of a manufacturing tax credit program.
"Every step of the way Foxconn has overpromised and under-delivered", said Hintz. He did not address the accusations Evers was to blame.
"I certainly would worry whether or not Foxconn would renege on that contract moving forward, and what kinds of protections are in place for the local businesses".
The president of Wisconsin's Technology Council, Tom Still, said he's not surprised that Foxconn wants to change course since TVs are becoming less expensive and iPhone sales are declining.
Woo said that the company wants to create a "technology hub" in Wisconsin, but the factory idea had been scrapped.