Foxconn Confirms $10 Billion U.S. Investment, Wisconsin Factory

Foxconn Confirms $10 Billion U.S. Investment, Wisconsin Factory
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Foxconn today confirmed its once tentative plans to invest $10 billion into the U.S. manufacturing industry, a majority of which will go toward a new display manufacturing plant in Wisconsin.

The Taiwanese manufacturer and prominent Apple supplier announced the news at an event at the White House on Wednesday afternoon. The Wisconsin factory will mainly produce LCD screens for televisions and other consumer electronic devices like dashboard displays, and could employ at least 3,000 local workers, Recode reported. “America does not have a single LCD plant to produce a complicated system. We are going to change that,” CEO Terry Gou said. “It starts today with this investment in Wisconsin.”

News of a possible Foxconn investment in the U.S. first came directly from Gou, who in January spoke of a possible joint $7 billion venture between Foxconn and Apple. In June, it was revealed that Gou was discussing the plans with federal and state officials and readying a $10 billion U.S. investment. It’s currently unknown whether any parts produced at the facility will be sent to Apple, Foxconn’s largest customer by a large margin. Additionally, it’s unknown how Apple’s $10 billion U.S. manufacturing fund will coincide with Foxconn’s plans, or whether the two companies will collaborate on future U.S. projects.

When built, the Wisconsin plant is estimated to reach about 20 million square feet — about three times the size of the Pentagon and one of the largest manufacturing facilities in the entire U.S., according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The 3,000 initial employees will make an average of $53,900 a year, the publication noted. The Wisconsin plant is likely to spur the local economy and raise the state’s profile in tech manufacturing. Even the construction of the plant itself is likely to lead to over 10,000 jobs over the next four years. No particular location has been chosen yet for the facility, although a source familiar with the matter noted sites in Racine and Kenosha remain in play.

The announcement is likely to be heralded as a major win for the Trump administration, which has made revitalizing the American manufacturing sector a prominent part of its campaign platform, even going so far as to call out Apple’s manufacturing practices. Indeed, White House officials highlighted Trump’s own direct negotiations with Foxconn, the New York Times reported.

Of course, it’s still up in the air how soon Foxconn will proceed with the plans. The Taiwanese manufacturer had previous plans to build a plant in Pennsylvania in 2013, but that facility never materialized, the Washington Post reported. Also unknown is whether federal, state or local lawmakers will sign off on any incentive packages, tax breaks, or infrastructure investments for the foreign company. There aren’t currently any federal incentives for the deal, but Foxconn could qualify for existing business programs, according to the White House.

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