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White House says Foxconn will invest further in Wisconsin
President Donald Trump (L) and Terry Gou, chairman of Apple iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, at a groundbreaking for Foxconn’s new LCD screen facility on June 28, 2018 in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI | AFP | Getty Images
Foxconn will soon announce more investments in Wisconsin after President Donald Trump met with company Chairman Terry Gou on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
The meeting followed last week’s revelation that Foxconn has been renegotiating its deal with Wisconsin to build a $10 billion plant there, according to a letter from Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to Foxconn executive Louis Woo. The letter said Foxconn had proposed changes to the deal at a meeting in March, CNBC reported.
In a statement last week, Foxconn did not deny seeking changes, but said it “has never wavered from our commitment to our contract with the State of Wisconsin and the creation of 13,000 jobs as part of our broader effort to make the Badger state a global technology hub.”
Foxconn did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the White House’s statement about Gou’s meeting with Trump.
The announcement that Foxconn, a company that Apple and other tech companies hire to assemble products such as smartphones, plans to further invest in Wisconsin may come as a surprise to residents there, who have reportedly seen little progress made on the promised development. The plant, expected to create thousands of jobs at Foxconn’s first facility outside of Asia, was seen as an early win for Trump.
But early blueprints soon unraveled, with an assistant to Foxconn’s CEO telling Reuters in January that it was still evaluating the types of jobs it would create at the site, which was originally thought to be a factory. The assistant said Foxconn wanted to create a “technology hub.” When Foxconn released a statement affirming its plans were still in place, it did not clarify the types of jobs it would create. The company’s hiring plans have also reportedly dwindled from a pace of about 5,200 by the end of 2020 to around 1,000, a source previously told Reuters.
Gou announced plans to run for president of Taiwan last month and said he would seek Trump’s support in the country if elected, according to the South China Morning Post. But Sanders said Gou and Trump “did not discuss support for his campaign in Taiwan, he is just a great friend.”
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