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Foxconn Pulls Out of Trump's Wisconsin Deal

The company is cutting over $9 billion and costing the area nearly 12,000 promised jobs

Kris LaGrange's picture
Apr 21, 2021

One of the highlights of Trump’s attempt to bring manufacturing back to the United States was the proposed $10 billion factory in Wisconsin. The warehouse was slated to be built by Taiwan electronics manufacturer Foxconn and would be built in the Congressional district of then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. At the time, Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker authorized nearly $3 billion in tax incentives for the plant.

Now three years later, Foxconn has announced that the project will be significantly smaller than initially proposed. The company is no longer interested in spending $10 billion on the project, but rather $672 million, and instead of creating 13,000 US jobs, it will now only create 1,454.

When the deal was originally proposed, Trump touted it as the largest investment in US history by a foreign-based company. Foxconn was planning to build flat panel display screens for TVs and other devices. Yet, before the deal was even signed many were pointing out the issues with the plan. This included the fact that none of the crucial suppliers for the components Foxconn would need were located anywhere near Wisconsin. Foxconn also has a long history of overpromising on these deals. In Brazil, the company claimed they would build a $12 billion factory and create 100,000 jobs only to come nowhere near those goals.

Foxconn essentially pulling out of building the warehouse will not only cost the local community jobs, but it will also leave the community on the hook for millions. According to reports from Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Watch, the village where the warehouse was planning to be built spent $152 million to buy 132 properties. These properties were bought so the land could be given to Foxconn to build the factory. Another $7.9 million was spent to cover relocation costs for the displaced property owners. Additionally, the state has already spent $200 million on road improvements, tax exemptions, and grants to local governments to retrain workers in preparation for the factory being built.

What Walker, Trump, and Ryan once touted as a promising project that would bring jobs to the community has now ended in a massive boondoggle that has left Wisconsin taxpayers footing the bill while Foxconn continues to manufacture the products, including screens for iPhones, overseas.

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