By Debby Wu | Bloomberg
Foxconn Technology is re-thinking its approach to a cutting edge display factory in Wisconsin that was part of a promise to create 13,000 jobs in the United States.
There are no plans to scrap the facility but the company is considering what liquid-crystal display technology is best suited for the $10 billion plant, Louis Woo, special assistant to Chairman Terry Gou, said Wednesday. Reuters reported earlier that the company could scale back LCD production plans or even abandon them.
Foxconn and U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled the Wisconsin project with much fanfare in 2017 as the Taiwanese company extracted a raft of incentives from the state, although some were forfeited last year after falling short of hiring goals. Gou’s company is in a particularly precarious position as the U.S. and China wage an escalating battle over trade. It does most of its manufacturing in the mainland, sells products to Americans and faces pressure from both sides to maintain or create new jobs.
“Given global economic conditions and the trade tensions between China and the U.S., we have to be responsible to our employees and customers, and it’s impossible that we can always stay committed to our original plan without any change,” Woo said. “There is no scrapping of our plans. We are upholding our commitment to Wisconsin.”
Doubt has been growing about Foxconn’s ability to meet its hiring commitments. Gordon Hintz, minority leader in the Wisconsin State Assembly, expressed concerns that Foxconn would fall far short, under a deal regarded as the richest tax credit, exemption, and subsidy package in state history.
The concern came into focus in a letter to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, in which Foxconn confirmed it missed job-creation targets for 2018.
Taipei-based Foxconn assembles everything from iPhones and laptop computers to Sony Corp. PlayStations at factories in China and around the world. Beyond the slowing smartphone market, it’s grappling with an uncertain economic climate as U.S.-Chinese trade tensions escalate. Hon Hai in November posted earnings about 12 percent below expectations.
- Foxconn could take Wisconsin businesses to next level
- Briggs: As Foxconn heads to Wisconsin, Indiana is a lucky loser
- iPhone manufacturer says underage interns found at factory in China
- President Donald Trump planning Wisconsin visit on Tuesday
- Rufus Wainwright and partner Jorn Weisbrodt plan to tie the knot this August on Long Island
- 8 fast facts on Foxconn's planned $10 billion investment in Wisconsin
- Environmentalists criticize exemptions for Foxconn's $10 billion Wisconsin plant
- Workers revolted at Chinese iPhone factory
- A blind proposal, a summons to Washington and a jet trip: Wisconsin's drive to win Foxconn
- Foxconn seeks immense sites in Wisconsin for possible factories