China com­pany plan­ning $10B plant in Wis­con­sin

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Tripp Mickle and Re­becca Ball­haus by The Wall Street Jour­nal, which pre­vi­ously re­ported that Fox­conn was ex­plor­ing in­vest­ments in seven states in­clud­ing Illi­nois, In­di­ana, Michi­gan, Ohio, Penn­syl­va­nia and Texas. Some of those states were piv­otal to Tru

Fox­conn Tech­nol­ogy Group, which helped turn China into the cen­ter of elec­tron­ics man­u­fac­tur­ing, is set­ting up shop in the U.S., with plans for a $10 bil­lion plant in Wis­con­sin to make dis­play pan­els used in tele­vi­sions and other prod­ucts.

The plant, an­nounced Wed­nes­day at a White House cer­e­mony, marks the first ma­jor U.S. in­vest­ment for Fox­conn, the world’s largest con­tract man­u­fac­turer of elec­tron­ics and the maker of iPhones and other gad­gets for Ap­ple Inc. The fac­tory is the first in a se­ries of U.S. in­vest­ments planned by Fox­conn, which also owns Sharp Corp., a se­nior White House of­fi­cial said.

Com­pany chair­man Terry Gou is bet­ting the U.S. can re­build an elec­tron­ics sup­ply chain that largely shifted to China and other lower-cost Asian coun­tries in re­cent decades.

The fac­tory will em­ploy 3,000 peo­ple ini­tially and as many as 13,000 peo­ple even­tu­ally. The plant also could draw as many as 150 sup­port­ing sup­pli­ers to south­east­ern Wis­con­sin and sur­round­ing states, ac­cord­ing to Wis­con­sin Gov. Scott Walker. The state is pro­vid­ing Fox­conn with a $3 bil­lion, 15-year in­cen­tive pack­age of tax cred­its, Walker said.

A se­nior White House of­fi­cial said Fox­conn’s de­ci­sion re­flects the ben­e­fits of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s poli­cies, in­clud­ing “buy Amer­ica prin­ci­ples” and a “com­mit­ment to pass ma­jor tax re­form and in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing.” Trump car­ried Wis­con­sin in last year’s elec­tion with a cam­paign in which he promised to bring man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs to the U.S.

The pres­i­dent, who rou­tinely in­vites CEOs to meet with him at the White House to show­case his em­pha­sis on jobs, has sin­gled out com­pa­nies for crit­i­cism for build­ing plants out­side the coun­try. Yet many ma­jor cor­po­ra­tions have plowed ahead with plans to move fac­to­ries to Mex­ico, un­der­scor­ing the scale of the eco­nomic forces that con­front Trump’s plans.

The an­nounce­ment con­firms plans re­ported Mon­day

The As­so­ci­ated Press

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, fore­ground, wel­comes Fox­conn CEO Terry Gou.

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