Fox­conn plant’s trou­bles point to wors­en­ing US busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment

Global Times US Edition - - BIZOVE -

The in­creas­ing chal­lenges for Fox­conn Tech­nol­ogy Group’s plan to build a multi-bil­lion-dol­lar fac­tory in the US state of Wis­con­sin are shin­ing a spot­light on the wors­en­ing busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment in the US, par­tic­u­larly for Chi­nese com­pa­nies.

The chal­lenges also show the lim­i­ta­tions to US Pres­i­dent Donald Trump’s much-touted ef­forts to bring man­u­fac­tur­ing back to the coun­try, a Chi­nese an­a­lyst said on Sun­day.

De­spite high praise from top of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Trump – who even as re­cently as last month called the deal “in­cred­i­ble” – the Fox- conn in­vest­ment in Wis­con­sin has come un­der fire in re­cent days for re­ported plans to bring in work­ers from China. The project could face tough US ad­min­is­tra­tive scru­tiny go­ing for­ward, as crit­i­cism con­tin­ues to in­ten­sify.

The Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported last week that Fox­conn was con­sid­er­ing bring­ing in some staff from China for the project, which is un­der con­struc­tion, as the com­pany strug­gles to find engi­neers and other skilled work­ers in the US.

Fox­conn de­nied the re­port, stress­ing that the com­pany will fo­cus on re­cruit­ing work­ers in the state.

Still, the news sparked in­ten­si­fied crit­i­cism of the project in the US and some even sug­gested that the state’s newly elected Gov­er­nor Tony Evers, who has crit­i­cized the project, could take some ac­tion against Fox­conn.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port on US tech­nol­ogy news web­site The Verge, while Evers is un­likely to stop the project or make ma­jor changes to the deal, he could use trans­porta­tion pro­jects at­tached to the fac­tory and take other ag­gres­sive mea­sures on en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues to ex­tract more con­ces­sions from Fox­conn.

Evers, who will take of­fice in Jan­uary, has spo­ken of the project that “it’s a lousy deal, and we’re go­ing to have to hold Fox­conn’s feet to the fire go­ing for­ward,” ac­cord­ing to a re­port in The Jour­nal Times in Septem­ber.

Chen Fengy­ing, a re­search fel­low at the China In­sti­tutes of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions in Bei­jing, said that such crit­i­cism and the threat of po­ten­tial ac­tion show that the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment is wors­en­ing in the US, which is of­ten en­gulfed in bit­ter par­ti­san fights.

“This is ev­i­dence that US po­lit­i­cal bat­tles have started to weigh on busi­nesses,” Chen told the Global Times on Sun­day. “Ba­si­cally, what­ever the other side did is wrong and the new one will try and ch around. That is a ri es.”

Chen said that th the Fox­conn project the lim­i­ta­tions of T bring man­u­fac­tur­ing “He has made it a po just does not work li

She pointed out fac­tur­ing in­dus­try ta to build up mas­sive and la­bor pools.

“It took China where it is now. The fo­cused on the manu for so long that it d com­plete re­sources ing com­pa­nies.”

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