President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he was told "off the record" by Foxconn chairman Terry Gou that the company plans to spend $30 billion on a new USA plant - which would be three times the amount of money the company has previously pledged. Foxconn has said it intends to build a campus with 20 million square feet of office space over 1.56 square miles. He deferred to Gov. Scott Walker on the company's exact plans. Gou said the project would "transform the American electronics industry".
Observers said that it's a sure decision for Gou to set the U.S. as another major market beyond China's and it's foreseeable for Foxconn to make long-term investments in US.
Lawmakers are already considering an unprecedented package of up to $3 billion in state subsidies and exemptions from environmental rules to bring the flat screen plant and thousands of jobs to either Racine or Kenosha counties. Walker's administration said there would be 22,000 additional indirect jobs created through the plant's opening, 16,000 of which would be construction-related.
The headline of this story has been corrected to reflect that Trump referenced a $30 billion investment, not $3 billion. The money would go as cash payments, as much as $200 million, but there is a provision for the state to recoup the money if the jobs are lost. It's best known for making iPhones and other Apple devices but its long list of customers includes Sony Corp., Dell Inc. and BlackBerry Ltd.
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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has previously reported on how Foxconn executives have visited Dane County over the past two months, meeting with University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers and with startup companies from the University Research Park.
No offers have yet been made by the Taiwanese company and there are no guarantees any will be.
"We're a ways off, as we get closer to that, we'll give you information about that", the governor said.