After Trump call, Foxconn recommits to Wisconsin factory

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Foxconn Wisconsin
Foxconn is recruiting temporary workers to build new iPhones.
Photo: Foxconn

How a Foxconn factory in Wisconsin takes shape depends on what day of the week it is.

Today, company CEO Terry Gou is committing to a “Gen 6 fab facility” in the dairy state after having a “personal conversation with President Donald Trump.

How many jobs will come with a Gen 6 fab facility or what exactly it will build is not known. A Gen 6 factory typically builds screens for smartphones, tablets and small televisions.

A Gen 6 plant is smaller than a $10 billion facility Foxconn vowed to build in 2017 but bigger than the one that was on the blueprint two days ago as described by a Foxconn spokesperson.

Foxconn’s plans have changed so often since it secured the largest tax break in state history for a $10 billion plant, critics and Wisconsin officials are left to wonder whether Foxconn will back out all together.

“After productive discussions between the White House and the company, and after a personal conversation between President Donald J. Trump and Chairman Terry Gou, Foxconn is moving forward with our planned construction of a Gen 6 fab facility,” according to a company statement.

Trump has vowed to revive manufacturing in the United States, despite advantages in China that drive down production costs for American companies. It’s why Apple has partnered with Foxconn to build iPhones in China.

In 2017, Foxconn said it would bring 13,000 jobs to Wisconsin to build large liquid crystal display television screens for big-screen models. On Wednesday, Foxconn spokesperson Louis Woo told Reuters the company would bail on making television screens in the U.S. because of costs.

He described a facility that would house mostly engineers and researchers with some production of products for the industrial and health care sectors.

The tax breaks promised in 2017 were significant and would have taken the state 20 years to recoup. Foxconn did return some of its incentives to the state after it missed on 2018 hiring goals.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel