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Foxconn may drop plans to build flat screens in Wisconsin



But the company says it continues to develop the Wisconsin property and still expects to hire up to 13,000 workers.

The plant and its expensive incentive package has been controversial from the time it was announced in 2017. It was negotiated during the term of office of former Republican government Scott Walker, who lost his re-election bid last year. The incentive package was one of the problems in the campaign.

Although the new governor Tony Evers has been critical of the package, he has not backed the promises in the package. His office did not respond to requests for comment on Foxcon's change of plans.

A chief executive of Foxconn told Reuters that the company had determined a US plant "cannot compete" with low-cost cannabis plants elsewhere in the world.

Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, told Reuters that the company was now planning to set up a "technology hub" in Wisconsin rather than a factory. It will largely consist of research facilities together with some packaging and assembly operations. Woo said that three-quarters of Foxcon's any job would be in the field of research and development and design, not work on the production of blue collars. He said it wouldn't be a factory.

Asked about the comments attributed to Woo, a Foxconn spokesman did not contest them.

"We remain committed to the Wisconsin Valley Science and Technology Park project, the creation of 1

3,000 jobs and our long-term investment in Wisconsin," the company said. "The global market environment that existed when the project was first announced has changed. As our plans are run by our customers, it has necessitated an adaptation of the plans for all projects, including Wisconsin. While the project focus will be adjusted to meet these new realities, the Wisconsin project remains a priority for our business. "

The state incentive package is ready to give the company up to $ 3 billion. in tax credits and breaks. It is one of the biggest incentive packages ever promised to a company to find a plant in the United States. And, according to Wisconsin's estimates, it will take at least 2043 for the state to recover the lost tax revenue.

The Village of Mount Pleasant and Racine County, where the facility is to be built, have also agreed to provide $ 764 million in tax incentives to help build the facility, including buying the land and giving it to Foxconn for free. The state expects to spend about $ 400 million on road improvements, including adding two lanes to the nearby Interstate 94.

It is not clear whether the shift in focus of the facility would change the incentive package based on the number of jobs created and the volume of investments. Foxconn had originally planned to invest $ 10 billion in the plant.

Foxconn is best known for its massive plants in China, producing products like iPhones for other companies.

Plans for a plant in Wisconsin were re-enacted by both Walker and President Donald Trump as a sign of job creation returning to the United States.

"This is an opportunity for once in a century for our state and our country and Wisconsin is ready," Walker said at the time the plant was announced.


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