Foxconn Technology Group — one of Apples largest, contract-based product assembly partners — announced ambitious plans earlier this year: that largely in light of President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ manufacturing and jobs initiatives, it would develop a $10 billion LCD manufacturing plant in the United States. According to a fresh report published this week by DigiTimes, Foxconn’s chairman and CEO, Terry Gou, is now just days away from making a visit to Wisconsin, where his firm has chosen to develop its sprawling, 20 million square-foot, 1,000-acre campus.
Why Did Foxconn Choose Wisconsin?
While Foxconn’s upcoming plant will exclusively be used to develop LCD display panels, and it’s unclear if Apple has any involvement in the dealings at all, some might be wondering why the Chinese manufacturing-giant chose Wisconsin as its new home in the first place.
To put it plainly: shortly after Foxconn’s tentative development plans were announced this past July, Wisconsin’s state assembly convened and unanimously approved a bill that would offer the iPhone builder a sweeping, $3 billion incentives package to set up shop on its turf.
Of course, while we’re unsure if other U.S. states offered Foxconn similar incentive packages, we know for a fact that the company was considering other options before it settled on The Badger State. Among these earliest considerations were Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Texas — all which were floated as possibilities because, in Gou’s own words, “they are the heart of the country’s manufacturing sector.”
Nevertheless, Gou should be touching down on American soil later this week, and is expected to attend a joint meeting with the Wisconsin Economic Development Association on September 28th. As for the LCD factory, itself: development is already underway, and the firm has tentative plans to open by sometime in 2020 — if not sooner. The factory will ultimately provide permanent, high-paying jobs for as many as 13,000 local workers — the first 3,000 of which will start out at salaries averaging $53,900 per year, according to a report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.