Foxconn is considering the possibility of a $7 billion joint investment with Apple to build an automated display production facility, Foxconn’s chairman said on Sunday.
“Apple is willing to invest in the facility together because they need the [panels] as well,” Terry Gou told the press following a year-end party in Taiwan, according to Nikkei. The proposed facility, first rumored earlier this month, would allegedly create between 30,000 and 50,000 jobs.
While higher labor and operational costs usually tend to make the manufacturing of electronics in the United States more expensive than overseas production, Gou claims the growing demand for larger display panels makes U.S.-based production more attractive than importing the parts from China.
Foxconn is also reported to be planning a new U.S.-based molding plant. Pennsylvania is said to be a possible location for the new plant, as the firm is involved in investment talks with Keystone state officials.
Overseas manufacturers are looking at investments in manufacturing facilities in the United States as a response to President Donal Trump’s campaign promise to slap tariffs on goods from overseas, particularly electronics, such as Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Gou mentioned a Canadian interactive display company, Smart Technologies, might relocate its production facilities to the U.S. because of Trump’s NAFTA plans.
Gou urged the U.S. government to offer concessions on land and utilities, warning consumers could end up paying more for products than they might feel comfortable with.
“In the future they [shoppers] may be paying some $500 more for products, but those do not necessarily work better than a $300 phone,” he said.
President Trump has claimed Apple CEO Tim Cook is considering bringing iPhone manufacturing to the states due to the possibility of a “very large tax cut” for relocating jobs. A November report indicated Apple has asked Foxconn to consider the possibility of moving some of its production stateside.