Foxconn’s Gou meeting with Evers today after Trump visit on Wednesday

Says investment in Wisconsin has not changed

Terry Gou

Foxconn chairman Terry Gou met with Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers today, one day after the Taiwanese businessman and presidential candidate met with President Donald Trump at the White House.

Following his meeting with Trump, Gou said it was “not right to say our investment in Wisconsin has changed,” according to a report from Nikkei Asian Review.

Gou said the company had suspended work last fall because of winter weather and would be restarting work in May. He also said he had invited Trump to visit the project when its first production line opens in May of next year. The company has previously said production at its LCD fabrication plant would begin in the fourth quarter of 2020.

In a statement, Foxconn confirmed the meeting with Trump on Wednesday and said the two discussed the Wisconsin project and other issues. Gou has also announced a run for president of Taiwan and Nikkei Asian Review said the two discussed the bid.

The company also issued a statement after the meeting with Evers, saying it “regularly engages with stakeholders in government and communities in which we operate.” The statement noted Gou also met with Foxconn employees in Mount Pleasant.

“We will continue to work collaboratively and productively with Governor Evers and his team, as well as our wide stakeholder network, as we expand and deepen our investment in the state,” the statement said.

The visit comes after Evers said last month he was looking to change Wisconsin’s contract with the company after it had scaled back its plans. His office later released a letter to Foxconn executives that indicated the company was the first to suggest changes to the deal.

Foxconn originally announced plans in 2017 to build a $10 billion LCD manufacturing plant in Wisconsin with a plan to create 13,000 jobs. In exchange, Wisconsin offered $3 billion in tax incentives plus more than $1 billion in infrastructure and local investments.

Within a year of the announcement, the company had shifted plans to a smaller LCD plant that would provide more product flexibility. This winter, Foxconn was reportedly reconsidering its investment plans and only recommitted to build an LCD plant in Wisconsin after talks with the White House and a conversation between Gou and Trump.

In March, the company announced $34 million in contracts for work on site utilities and roads on the Mount Pleasant construction site. An executive from Gilbane Building Co., the company overseeing construction, in early April pledged the project would see a busy year of construction. Foxconn has since issued an invitation to bid for foundation work for its first LCD fabrication facilities on the site.

Throughout the evolution of the project, Foxconn has repeatedly said it is committed to creating 13,000 jobs.

The company’s actual job creation, however, has lagged behind the aggressive timelines set out in its contract with the state. Last year, for example, the company had 178 employees, short of the 260 needed to qualify for any tax credits. It would need to reach 520 jobs this year and 1,820 jobs next year to receive any payroll incentives over the next two years.

Terry Gou

Foxconn chairman Terry Gou met with Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers today, one day after the Taiwanese businessman and presidential candidate met with President Donald Trump at the White House.

Following his meeting with Trump, Gou said it was “not right to say our investment in Wisconsin has changed,” according to a report from Nikkei Asian Review.

Gou said the company had suspended work last fall because of winter weather and would be restarting work in May. He also said he had invited Trump to visit the project when its first production line opens in May of next year. The company has previously said production at its LCD fabrication plant would begin in the fourth quarter of 2020.

In a statement, Foxconn confirmed the meeting with Trump on Wednesday and said the two discussed the Wisconsin project and other issues. Gou has also announced a run for president of Taiwan and Nikkei Asian Review said the two discussed the bid.

The company also issued a statement after the meeting with Evers, saying it “regularly engages with stakeholders in government and communities in which we operate.” The statement noted Gou also met with Foxconn employees in Mount Pleasant.

“We will continue to work collaboratively and productively with Governor Evers and his team, as well as our wide stakeholder network, as we expand and deepen our investment in the state,” the statement said.

The visit comes after Evers said last month he was looking to change Wisconsin’s contract with the company after it had scaled back its plans. His office later released a letter to Foxconn executives that indicated the company was the first to suggest changes to the deal.

Foxconn originally announced plans in 2017 to build a $10 billion LCD manufacturing plant in Wisconsin with a plan to create 13,000 jobs. In exchange, Wisconsin offered $3 billion in tax incentives plus more than $1 billion in infrastructure and local investments.

Within a year of the announcement, the company had shifted plans to a smaller LCD plant that would provide more product flexibility. This winter, Foxconn was reportedly reconsidering its investment plans and only recommitted to build an LCD plant in Wisconsin after talks with the White House and a conversation between Gou and Trump.

In March, the company announced $34 million in contracts for work on site utilities and roads on the Mount Pleasant construction site. An executive from Gilbane Building Co., the company overseeing construction, in early April pledged the project would see a busy year of construction. Foxconn has since issued an invitation to bid for foundation work for its first LCD fabrication facilities on the site.

Throughout the evolution of the project, Foxconn has repeatedly said it is committed to creating 13,000 jobs.

The company’s actual job creation, however, has lagged behind the aggressive timelines set out in its contract with the state. Last year, for example, the company had 178 employees, short of the 260 needed to qualify for any tax credits. It would need to reach 520 jobs this year and 1,820 jobs next year to receive any payroll incentives over the next two years.

Comments