iPhone Maker Foxconn Pledges $10 Billion for LCD Manufacturing in Wisconsin
Foxconn is expanding its presence in the U.S. with a $10 billion investment in Wisconsin, which is initially projected to create about 3,000 jobs in the region.
The Taiwan-based firm's new Wisconsin manufacturing facility will make LCDs, which will "be used in everything from self-driving cars to aircraft systems and in the fields of education, entertainment, healthcare, safety and surveillance, advanced manufacturing systems and office automation, among others," Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said in a statement.
The 20-million-square-foot facility will be located in the district of House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was on hand to announce the deal at the White House today, alongside Walker, Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou.
"Why do it here? TV was invented in America, yet America does not have a single LCD factory to produce a complete 8K system," Gou said during a presentation at the White House. "We are going to change that."
Trump said Foxconn "will invest in southeast Wisconsin, while a larger facility is constructed over the coming years, and that facility is currently under negotiation." The inital $10 billion investment will create "3,000 jobs at a minimum with the potential for up to 13,000 jobs in the very near future," according to Trump.
Those jobs, according to Walker, could have an average annual salary of over $53,000 plus benefits. In return, the state of Wisconsin will provide Foxconn with $3 billion in economic incentives, Walker said.
In January, shortly after Trump's inauguration, Gou floated the idea of a U.S.-based display-making plant for Sharp, which it acquired last year, in a deal that could be worth as much as $7 billion. At the time, though, he told The New York Times that "there is such a plan, but it is not a promise. It is a wish."
In an interview with the Times today, the Alliance for American Manufacturing said it will wait to see Foxconn actually handing out paychecks. "Foxconn has a history of talking big and not necessarily delivering on their commitments," Alliance president Scott Paul said.
Foxconn already has facilities and offices in Alabama, California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. It is best known for making Apple devices like iPhones in China; it's unlikely it will do so in the U.S. This week, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that Apple CEO Tim Cook promised to build three plants in the U.S. in the coming years, but Cupertino has not made any announcements.