Apple supply partner Foxconn said today it “remains committed” to build a display plant and research facility in Wisconsin.
Foxconn’s proposed 20-million-square-foot Wisconsin campus, announced at a White House ceremony in 2017, marks the largest greenfield investment by a foreign-based company in U.S. history and was praised by President Donald Trump as proof of his ability to revive American manufacturing.
The company’s reassurances come a few days after Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said that the state wanted to renegotiate the Foxconn deal which gives the company $4 billion in tax breaks and other incentives because the firm is not expected to reach its job creation goals for the state (13,000 jobs).
Foxconn initially announced the project at a 2017 event at the White House, alongside President Donald Trump.
Plans for the plant have changed over time, as it was first intended to be a TV display factory and then plans transitioned to the facility manufacturing displays for smartphones, infotainment systems, and other “niche products”.
In early 2019, Reuters reported that Foxconn would greatly scale back plans for production of displays of any kind in Wisconsin, instead it would focus on research and development.
Louis Woo, assistant to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, said at the time the decision was made due to the steep cost of making advanced screens for TV sets and other devices in the United States. The company also announced around that time that it was slowing its hiring pace, with around 5,200 people expected to be hired by the end of 2020. Foxconn has fallen short of its 2018 hiring goals, employing just 178 full-time workers rather than the 260 it intended to for the year.