Foxconn Drops US Manufacturing Plans

The Foxconn site last year, when President Trump was taking credit for the entire thing.Brian Cassella/TNS via ZUMA

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Remember that huge factory Foxconn was going to build in Wisconsin? The one that Scott Walker and Donald Trump were so excited about? The one that got $4 billion in tax breaks? Well, about that:

Foxconn is reconsidering plans to make advanced liquid crystal display panels at a $10 billion Wisconsin campus, and said it intends to hire mostly engineers and researchers rather than the manufacturing workforce the project originally promised.

….Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn Chief Executive Terry Gou, told Reuters […] 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. “In terms of TV, we have no place in the U.S.,” he said in an interview. “We can’t compete.”

Rather than a focus on LCD manufacturing, Foxconn wants to create a “technology hub” in Wisconsin that would largely consist of research facilities along with packaging and assembly operations, Woo said. It would also produce specialized tech products for industrial, healthcare, and professional applications, he added.

But what about the 13,000 workers Foxconn promised to hire? They say they may still get there eventually, but you’d be right to be skeptical. Their goal for 2020 has already dropped from 5,000 workers to 1,000.

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