Things to know about Foxconn plant coming to Wisconsin
By The Associated Press
Jul. 27, 2017
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Foxconn Technology Group's manufacturing plant in Wisconsin will be the first U.S.-based facility for the Taiwan-based electronics giant. Here are some things to know about the plant:
WHAT WILL IT MAKE?
Foxconn is perhaps best known for assembling Apple iPhones in China, but that's not what would be made at the plant. Instead, it would manufacture liquid crystal display screens used by computers, televisions self-driving cars, aircraft systems and other products, according to Gov. Scott Walker's administration. The plant would be the first of its kind in North America and the only one not located in Asia.
HOW BIG IS IT?
The proposed plant would be the largest economic development project in Wisconsin history. Foxconn plans to initially hire 3,000 workers, but the company said that could grow to 13,000 over six years. The total investment promised by the company is $10 billion.
The Foxconn factory would be 20 million square feet — three times the size of the Pentagon — on a campus spread out over 1.56 square miles.
WHERE WILL IT BE?
No exact location for the massive plant has been identified, but Foxconn is eyeing two sites in southeast Wisconsin in Kenosha and Racine counties. White House Chief of staff Reince Priebus, who is from Kenosha, said he talked with President Donald Trump about the plant locating where the former Chrysler plant was in that city.
WHAT IS THE STATE OFFERING?
Wisconsin's offer to Foxconn includes up to $1.5 billion in income tax credits for job creation, $1.35 billion in income tax credits for capital investment and up to $150 million in sales tax exemptions for the purchase of construction materials.
The incentives would be pro-rated, based on how much is spent and how many jobs are created by Foxconn. There are also provisions that would require Foxconn to repay any of the tax credits if the jobs and investment are not kept in Wisconsin.
The incentives would be spread out over 15 years. The Legislature must approve the deal, and Walker said he will call a special session for that to happen as soon as next month.
If 13,000 jobs are created, the incentives average to about $230,000 per job. But that doesn't take into account thousands of other jobs connected to the plant that would be created for its construction and along the supply line. 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.
WHEN WILL IT OPEN?
Walker said the plan is for Foxconn to break ground in 2018 with the plant opening in 2020 "if everything goes right," Walker said. He also said that hiring will start "almost immediately."
WHAT ARE THE JOBS?
Walker said the job will include thousands of engineers and skilled workers with an average salary of $53,875.
WHAT IS FOXCONN'S RECORD?
Foxconn has promised to build plants around the world and backed out. Foxconn promised in 2013, for example, to invest $30 million and hire 500 workers for a new, high-tech factory in Pennsylvania that was never built.
HOW DOES FOXCONN TREAT ITS WORKERS?
Foxconn has struggled to meet high safety and other standards expected of consumer electronics brands while keeping costs low. Its Chinese plants making Apple products, especially, have drawn attention for worker suicides, accidents and labor disturbances. Labor advocates say the company imposes excessive overtime and pressure on workers, especially when it ramps up production ahead of new iPhone launches. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has raised wages and pledged to prevent more deaths.
WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?
Democrats had a mixed response, with some praising the deal as good for the state while also being skeptical about whether Foxconn would fulfill its promises. They also voiced concerns about the company's record on labor relations. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said he hopes to pass the Foxconn bill with bipartisan support, similar to the deal two years ago that led to construction of the new Milwaukee Bucks stadium.