Foxconn to build a $10-bn LCD display panel plant in Wisconsin

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn yesterday announced plans to build a $10-billion LCD display panel plant in Wisconsin.

Foxconn plans to invest $10 billion over four years to build a 20-million square foot plant where 13,000 people would eventually be employed.

Praising Foxconn chairman Terry Gou at a White House event, Trump asserted, "If I didn't get elected, he definitely wouldn't be spending $10 billion ... This is a great day for America."

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker said at the White House his state will award $3 billion in incentives and sign a memorandum of understanding on the investment today.

Walker told reporters at the White House that the state legislature will need to approve the $3-billion incentives package. Nearly half of it was for capital costs and the rest for workforce development. There were also some sales tax exemption incentives.

Foxconn, which is formally called Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd said in a statement that the investment "signifies the start of a series of investments by Foxconn in American manufacturing in the coming years."

But Foxconn's record in creating new jobs in the US has been a mixed one, according to commentators.

In 2013, Foxconn said it planned to invest $30 million and hire 500 workers for a new factory in Pennsylvania, but that facility was never completed.

Meanwhile, Tim Culpan a technology columnist for Bloomberg Gadfly, writes in Bloomberg Businessweek, that the big winner from the deal was not the taxpayer, it was Foxconn and its billionaire chairman Terry Gou.

He points out that Wisconsin was paying as much as $1 million per job, which would carry an average salary of $54,000 and the state's economics development corporation was selling the project to taxpayers with a claim that it will create 10,000 construction jobs for building the facility and another 6,000 indirect positions.

It was expecting $3.3 million of investment per employee from the Taiwanese company.