Terry Gou, the chairman of Apple supplier Foxconn, will travel to the United States tonight for a meeting in the White House that is believed to be related to an investment in Wisconsin, reads a new report from Reuters citing a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
Foxconn announced in 2017 that it would build a massive factory to build flat-panel display screens for various consumer electronics products, creating up to 13,000 jobs and pumping billions of dollars into the state. The state agreed to give Foxconn around $4 billion USD in public subsidies if it upheld its end of the deal.
Now it looks like expectations for the factory are officially shifting. New Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said on April 17 that he doesn’t expect Foxconn to create the 13,000 promised jobs, and now hopes to renegotiate the state’s massive deal with the company,
“Clearly, the deal that was struck is no longer in play,” he said. “The present contract deals with a situation that no longer exists, so it’s our goal to make sure the taxpayers are protected and environmental standards are protected.”
The Taiwanese company said earlier this month it remains committed to its contract to build a display plant and tech research facilities in Wisconsin, just days after Governor Evers’ comments. Evans, however, called Foxconn’s bluff with a letter to the CEO, imploring the company to announce specific details about the promised jobs:
As I’m sure you understand, Wisconsinites have a keen interest in understanding how many jobs will be created for Wisconsin residents and the types and compensation levels of such jobs. As those details become more clear about your initial phase of work, I look forward to receiving them so that we can all view this project with as much relevant information as possible.
Thank you for helping us better understand Foxconn’s plans to ensure we can forge a strong path forward together for Foxconn and for Wisconsin residents and taxpayers.
The U.S. government’s deal with Foxconn is one of the largest U.S. public-incentive projects ever given to a foreign entity, comprising of over $4 billion USD in state and local investments and tax breaks.