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Foxconn drops plans for flat panel construction in Wisconsin



However, the company claims to accelerate the development of the Wisconsin Property and expects to hire up to 13,000 workers.

The plant and its expensive incentive package have been controversial since the announcement in 2017 during the reign of former Republican Governor Scott Walker, who lost his reelection last year. The incentive package was one of the themes of the campaign.

Although the new governor, Tony Evers, has seen the package critically, he has not withdrawn from the commitments made under the package.

A senior executive at Foxconn told Reuters that the company has found that a US factory "can not compete with cheap flat panel systems in other parts of the world."

Louis Woo, assistant to Foxconn Chief Executive Officer Terry Gou, told Reuters that the company was planning to establish a "technology hub" in Wisconsin rather than a factory. This would consist essentially of research facilities as well as some packaging and assembly operations. Woo said that three quarters of Foxconn's future jobs will be in R & D and design rather than manufacturing. He said it would not be a factory.

Asked about the comments attributed to Woo, a Foxconn spokesman has not denied them.

"We remain committed to the Wisconsin Valley Science and Technology Park project, the creation of 1

3,000 jobs and our long-term investment in Wisconsin," the statement said. "The global market environment that existed at the time of the initial announcement of the project has changed, and as our plans are determined by those of our customers, this has necessitated the customization of plans for all projects, including Wisconsin, while the project focuses on Adapted to the Meeting In these new realities, the Wisconsin project remains a priority for our company. "

The government incentive package is ready to grant the company tax credits and breaks of up to US $ 3 billion. It's one of the largest incentive packages a company has ever been promised to locate in the United States. Wisconsin estimates that it will take at least 2043 for the state to recover tax revenues.

The state incentive package allows Foxconn to adapt its plans to changing business conditions, said Mark Hogan, the CEO of the state's independent economic development agency, which negotiated the package. He added that the company's success depends on its ability to respond to changing customer demand.

Hogan also pointed out that Foxconn will only receive the full incentive package if it meets all of its job creation and investment goals.

"Our ongoing discussions with company representatives reflect Foxconn's ongoing commitment to the state of Wisconsin," said Hogan.

But the governor's office made a statement in which it was surprised to be informed about the planned changes of Foxconn.

"Details on the further development of this project will require further review and evaluation by our team," said Joel Brennan, who was nominated to oversee the state office handling the package. He said the state will "continue to oversee the project to make sure the company delivers what it promises."

The village of Mount Pleasant and Racine County, where the facility is being built, has also agreed to provide $ 764 million in tax incentives for the construction of the facility, including the purchase of the property and the Free delivery to Foxconn. The state expects to spend about $ 400 million on improving the road, including the addition of two lanes to nearby Interstate 94.

It is not clear that shifting the focus of the facility would change the incentive package, this is based on the number of jobs created and the amount of investment. Foxconn originally planned to invest $ 10 billion in the plant.

Foxconn is best known for its giant factories in China that manufacture products such as iPhones for other companies. The plan for a Wisconsin plant was announced by both Walker and President Donald Trump as a sign of the return of manufacturing jobs to the United States.

"The construction of this facility represents the return of LCD electronics and electronics manufacturing to the United States, the country we love," Trump said at the time. "We want jobs there, and to make such an incredible investment, Chairman Gou confided in the future of the US economy – in other words, if I was not elected, he definitely would not."

Jeremy Diamond of CNN contributed to this report.


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