Since he first announced his candidacy in 2015 President Donald Trump has promised that he was going to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States, and it seemed he had accomplished just that when it was announced in 2017 that Taiwanese cell phone manufacturer Foxconn would build a gigantic manufacturing plant in Wisconsin that would eventually employ 13,000 American workers.
But Reuters is now reporting that the Foxconn deal is on the verge of collapsing:
“Foxconn, which received controversial state and local incentives for the project, initially planned to manufacture advanced large screen displays for TVs and other consumer and professional products at the facility, which is under construction. It later said it would build smaller LCD screens instead.
“Now, those plans may be scaled back or even shelved, Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn Chief Executive Terry Gou, told Reuters. He said the company was still evaluating options for Wisconsin, but cited the steep cost of making advanced TV screens in the United States, where labor expenses are comparatively high.”
Woo also noted that his company won’t be building a manufacturing facility in the U.S.:
“In Wisconsin we’re not building a factory. You can’t use a factory to view our Wisconsin investment.”
Oddly, Foxconn said earlier this month that would be creating 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin, but is now admitting that it has greatly slowed the pace of hiring.
Foxconn is a major component supplier to Apple, especially for the iPhone, and had been given large tax breaks by the state of Wisconsin as an incentive for them to build LCD screens. But the company is instead saying they plan to construct a “technology hub” that would consist of:
“Research facilities along with packaging and assembly operations … It would also produce specialized tech products for industrial, healthcare, and professional applications.”
One of the main cheerleaders for the Foxconn plant idea was former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who lost his 2018 re-election bid to Democrat Scott Evers. Walker gave Foxconn $4 billion in tax breaks and incentives before he left office. He was criticized by opponents of the deal, who called it a giant corporate giveaway that would never produce the jobs promised.
The White House has not yet commented on the failure of the deal.
Featured Image Via CNBC