President Trump’s election campaign largely revolved around making “America great again” and bringing businesses into the country. Trump has been quite engaged with the tech sector in particular, where bringing the production of iPhones to American soil seems like one of his top priorities in the business field. While it is not clear whether Tim Cook actually promised Trump last week to build three ‘big, big, big’ Apple plants in the US, the president has apparently been involved in a previously rumoured venture with Foxconn that was officially announced yesterday.
At a White House ceremony this Wednesday, it was revealed that the Taiwan-based tech company plans to build a $10 billion LCD panels manufacturing facility in the state of Wisconsin that should open by 2020. The event was attended by both business people and legislators, including Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn’s CEO Terry Gou. White House host president Trump was obviously also present, commenting that the project was made possible by his election.
“If I didn’t get elected, (Gou) definitely would not be spending $10 billion” on the project, Trump said.
Apparently, Foxconn will receive up to $3 billion in tax incentives, as state-funded stimulus for the execution of the project. It is difficult to speculate about Trump’s input into the launch of the venture, though, as Foxconn’s plant opening was rumoured before the election last year. Nonetheless, Gou did take his time to acknowledge the president’s involvement.
“We thank President Trump and Governor Walker for their work to bring Foxconn to Wisconsin. Wisconsin offers a talented, hardworking workforce, and a long track record in advanced manufacturing, all of which presents an extraordinary opportunity,” said Gou.
The announced facility is expected to employ 3,000 to start with and will gradually expand with up to 10,000 more job openings. Foxconn’s plant is projected to generate up to $181 million in local and state tax annually, and will span over a 20 million-square-feet campus.
Foxconn is one of Apple’s key supply chain partners, but the plant will not be making products for Cupertino, at least not in the foreseeable future. The LCD panels the factory will produce will be for Sharp’s TV production, but the envisioned and announced scope of production at the plant, namely ‘televisions and other consumer electronics’, presupposes that manufacturing may go beyond TV panels in the future.
In any case, the move is largely positive for both the business sector in the US and Trump’s presidency, as the project will bring skill and investments into a state the president said was very close to his heart.
source: Wisconsin State Journal via 9To5Mac