Wisconsin wants out of its $4 billion Foxconn deal

By

Terry Gou
The Wisconsin governor no longer believes Foxconn is bringing jobs like these to his state.
Photo: Foxconn

The governor of Wisconsin wants to renegotiate the deal in which iPhone-assembler Foxconn would have received $4 billion in subsidies and infrastructure spending in exchange for employing 13,000 people.

Foxconn has changed its plans several times since the deal was first announced, and Gov. Tony Evers no longer believes all those promised jobs will ever emerge

“Clearly the deal that was struck is no longer in play and so we will be working with individuals at Foxconn and of course with (the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.) to figure out how a new set of parameters should be negotiated,” Evers said today,  according to the Journal Sentinel.

Foxconn’s shifting plans for Wisconsin

Although Foxconn is famous for assembling the iPhone for Apple, it never intended to do so in Wisconsin.  Instead, the original deal called for Foxconn to produce large-sized displays for televisions and monitors in this midwestern state. Its manufacturing plant was expected to cost $10 billion to build, and employ those thousands of Wisconsin residents.

In return, the Taiwanese enterprise would receive $3 billion in tax breaks and incentives, and another $1 billion in infrastructure.

But the company’s production plan was later changed to small and medium-sized LCDs, some of which potentially could have been used in Apple products. And the goal was modified even more this January, to making products for the industrial and health care fields. Through this, Foxconn maintained that it would provide 13,000 jobs.

To further confuse the situation, in February the plan changed back to making small displays after President Trump put pressure on company CEO Terry Gou. The president has been a visible part of bringing Foxconn to Wisconsin from the beginning.

Gov. Evers clearly has had enough. “It’s our goal to make sure that the taxpayers are protected and environmental standards are protected. And we believe we need to take a look at that contract and see if it needs to be downsized as a result.”