Foxconn says it can’t afford to make TV screens in Wisconsin

By

Foxconn signing
Foxconn and University Wisconsin officials signing a deal for a research center.
Photo: Bryce Richter/University of Wisconsin-Madison

Foxconn, which promised to create 13,000 jobs with a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin, won’t be producing state-of-the-art TV screens here as planned.

The news may not come as a big surprise to critics of the deal, which gave the iPhone maker the richest subsidy package in the state’s history. Foxconn has already forfeited some of those tax credits after it missed 2018 hiring goals.

This morning, Reuters reported Foxconn is shifting plans because of the cost of making advanced TV screens in the U.S. Foxconn plants produce huge sheets of glass for TV screens as big as 75 inches.

Company spokesperson Louis Woo told Reuters the Wisconsin facility will mostly employee engineers and researches at the plant and produce products for the industrial and health care fields.

“In terms of TV, we have no place in the U.S.,” Woo told the news service. “We can’t compete.”

Company spokesperson Louis Woo told Reuters the Wisconsin facility will mostly employee engineers and researchers at the plant and produce products for the industrial and health care fields.

The Foxconn deal was a shining symbol of promises made by both then-Gov. Scott Walker and President Donald Trump to bringing manufacturing back to the U.S.

A lot has changed since 2017 when company executives and state officials hammered out the plan.

Trump has locked horns with China over trade and tariffs imposed by the U.S. have slowed China’s economy. Foxconn’srecent earnings are reportedly dismal and iPhone sales have slowed. In November, Walker lost his bid for re-election.

Foxconn is Apple’s main manufacturing partner for the iPhone. The company based in Taipei also assemble laptops and PlayStations for Sony at factories in China and other parts of the world.

Source: Bloomberg