Trump hints Foxconn deal could hit $30 billion
President: Firm’s CEO told him of investment’s potential in confidence.
President Donald Trump casually mentioned Tuesday that Foxconn’s chairman told him in confidence the electronics giant’s investment could reach $30 billion, triple the size of last week’s deal with Wisconsin that some already viewed as optimistically inflated.
Trump made the comments while addressing small-business leaders at the White House. He didn’t elaborate on how the figure could grow so high or even clarify whether he was referring to just Wisconsin or nationwide — including investments in other plants not yet announced.
“They’re going to spend $10 billion, but he is one of the great businessmen of our time,” Trump said in reference to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou. “And I think the number is going to be $30 billion. He told me off the record he thinks he may go $30 billion, $30 billion. Think of this. He may go 30 billion dollar investment, but he told me that off the record so I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone.”
Foxconn officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
This is the second time in a week that Trump has made public conversations he says he had in private with business leaders. Last week Trump told the Wall Street Journal that Apple CEO Tim Cook told him he was committed to building three big manufacturing facilities in the U.S., plans Apple has not confirmed.
The deal Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn signed on Thursday called for the Taiwanese company to invest $10 billion in Wisconsin and initially employ 3,000 people by 2020, with up to 13,000 within six years. Even at a third of the size Trump said could be spent, the envisioned plant project would be the largest in state history and result in a 20 millionsquare-foot campus.
Critics of the deal have questioned whether Foxconn would come close to even those lofty investment and employment tar-