Foxconn says it shifts Wisconsin plan after Trump intervenes


June 28, 2018: Foxconn breaks ground in Mount Pleasant.

It did not provide details on employment or products, although it said it meant to "broaden our investment across Wisconsin far beyond our original plans".

Wisconsin lawmakers offered up to $2.85 billion worth of incentives in 2017 to lure the world's largest electronics manufacturer to the state, sparking criticism that the state was giving away too much money. Residents' opposition, labor shortage, and technology transfer difficulties are the three main reasons why manufacturing companies like Foxconn could not move back to the United States easily, industry insiders and analysts have said.

According to Gou, Trump said in the phone conversation Friday that he hoped Foxconn would continue with the innovation-centered project in Wisconsin so as to cultivate high-tech talent and to reverse the outflow of such workers to the USA east and west coasts. He revealed the vast majority of the projected 13,000 Wisconsin positions would be in R&D and design, even though Foxconn received around $4.1 billion in state subsidies under the impression that many jobs would go to blue-collar manufacturing workers.

"After productive discussions between the White House and the company, and after a personal conversation between President Donald J. Trump and Chairman Terry Gou, Foxconn is moving forward with our planned construction of a Gen 6 fab facility", Foxconn said in a statement sent to Fortune.

Advocate Aurora unveiled plans to build a hospital, medical office building and two clinics in the region in May 2018, about eight months after Foxconn made a decision to build its plant in the area.

However, the company released a statement on January 30 confirming various media reports that its plan was being adjusted to focus mainly on research and development.

Mr Trump has repeatedly touted Foxconn's investment in Wisconsin - a politically important state - as proof his economic policies are working.

Speaking to thousands of Foxconn employees at a Chinese New Year carnival in Taipei on Saturday, Gou said investing in the U.S. "is undoubtedly a right decision and fits with future economic trends".

Instead of hiring factory workers, Foxconn said that it hoped to hire engineers and researchers.

But Foxconn's repeated changes to its plans led critics of the project this week to accuse Foxconn of a "bait and switch".

Mark Hogan, CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state's economic development agency, under both Walker and Evers, said on Thursday in a statement that the contract was not under negotiation.

Foxconn released a statement saying that the company's need to be responsive to the global market environment necessitated a reconsideration of which technology will best suit the needs of its customers.