To those who follow Foxconn Technology Group's pattern of activities, it will come as little surprise that the company appears set to renege on its agreement to construct a $10 billion plant to build large LCD display panels in Wisconsin - an agreement that came with massive tax incentives and the company's assurance of producing up to 13,000 permanent jobs.
At the time of the agreement, then-Governor Scott Walker, backed by President Donald Trump, pledged as much as $4 billion in sweeteners to the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer. In return, the company agreed to invest $10 billion in a 20 million-sq.-ft. Generation 10.5 LCD manufacturing plant that would create thousands of jobs and enhance economic prosperity throughout the region and state.
Since the agreement was inked, Foxconn has repeatedly missed its targets and adjusted its plans and employment agenda. Now, it appears increasingly unlikely that a manufacturing plant will move forward at all.
Foxconn publicly conceded that manufacturing the panels in Wisconsin, or even the U.S., isn’t cost effective. Instead, it indicated it will build a "technology hub" in Wisconsin that would largely consist of research facilities plus packaging and assembly operations. And in place of a factory full of workers, it will hire research positions and staff to handle packaging and assembly.
Even prior to this latest announcement, estimates indicated it would take at least 25 years for Wisconsin taxpayers to break even on Walker's widely publicized and promoted agreement. Now, the prospects for the state look even more bleak, as the pace of hiring at the Foxconn site continues to slow. According to an NBC News report, the company initially expected to employ about 5,200 people by the end of 2020; a company source now said that figure looks likely to be closer to 1,000 workers.
Read more via the links below: