Apple’s biggest supplier strikes more modest deal for Wisconsin plant

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iPhone sales drive Apple’s biggest supplier to big profits
Foxconn factory in U.S. won't be nearly as ambitious as promised.
Photo: CBS

Foxconn’s promised $10 billion LCD plant in Wisconsin isn’t happening. At least, not on anywhere close to the same level that was promised back in the summer of 2017.

The Apple contract manufacturer previously received a “record-setting incentives package” for a plant that would create 13,000 jobs. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports, Foxconn has renegotiated the deal — and will invest a total of $672 million by 2025 and create just 1,454 jobs in the region.

Smaller incentives package on offer

Unsurprisingly, this means a smaller incentives package. Previously, it could have qualified for $2.85 billion in incentives. Now it will get $80 million. That’s still a large amount of money, but a tiny fraction of what was talked about a few years ago.

The WSJ notes that:

“The Foxconn deal was originally struck by the company’s former chairman and founder, Terry Gou, and former Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who lost his post in 2018 to Democrat Tony Evers. The deal was announced at the White House and touted by then-President Trump as a pillar of the administration’s plan to boost U.S. manufacturing jobs.

On Tuesday, Gov. Evers said the new contract delivered on his campaign commitment to save taxpayer money and protect public investments for the existing plant site south of Milwaukee, where officials have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in roads and other infrastructure.”

It notes that the development has so far cleared nearly 100 homes and small farms from the site it plans to use. However, all it has yet erected are “a few shell buildings and a nearly complete glass-and-steel dome.”

Plans to scale back the Wisconsin deal didn’t take long to surface. By the middle of 2018, the promises were already being reneged upon. “It’s critical that the governor pay attention to what’s going on with taxpayer dollars and make sure that the public investment is sound and makes sense,” said Rep. Dana Wachs, in August 2018, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “What in the world is going on? This could be the mother of all bait and switches.”

Source: Wall Street Journal