Foxconn Technology Group brought its own big chill on January 30, 2019, with a news report saying the Taiwan tech giant is reconsidering plans to make advanced liquid crystal display panels at its Racine County campus.
Assembly Democratic Minority Leader Gordon Hintz says the news is "devastating for the taxpayers of Wisconsin".
Brian Cassella/TNS/NewscomWisconsin promised more than $3 billion in subsidies to Foxconn, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of smart phone parts, to lure the tech giant to suburban Milwaukee.
"From the very beginning, we looked out for the best interest of the taxpayers of the state".
But he added: "Given global economic conditions and the trade tensions between China and the US.it's impossible that we can always stay committed to our original plan without any change".
"And now, it appears Foxconn is living up to their failed track record in the USA - leaving another state and community high and dry".
Instead, Woo said, Foxconn wants to create a "technology hub" that would largely consist of research facilities along with packaging and assembly operations.
We will continue to work with Foxconn to help the company meet its repeated goal of creating 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin.
Hon Hai unveiled the Wisconsin project with much fanfare in 2017 as the firm extracted a raft of incentives from the state, although some were forfeited past year after falling short of hiring goals.
Unsurprisingly, the state GOP is trying to pin this all on Gov. Walker ultimately lost re-election to superintendent of public instruction Tony Evers. It's also not surprising Foxconn would rethink building a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin under the Evers Administration.
PolitiFact Wisconsin has regularly fact-checked statements about the project.
Tom Still, president of Wisconsin's Technology Council, said he's not surprised that Foxconn wants to change course because televisions are becoming less expensive and iPhone sales are declining.
"Republicans will do all that we can to keep Wisconsin open for business and the Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit in place. We can't compete", Woo said.
While Trump has not responded to the Foxconn announcement CNN quoted an official as saying: "The president has created one of the strongest business climates in American history because he lowered taxes and massively cut regulations".
Following news that the company had already scaled back its plans from the production of large-scale LCD panels for the TV market to smaller-scale panels for laptops, tablets, and smartphones, Woo suggests that little manufacturing may take place at all.
Media reports have cited tight labor markets and higher wages in the U.S. Manufacturing labor costs, however, are up just over 2 percent for the year. The bottomline: While some environmental oversight was removed, Flynn's claim went beyond that to say there would be no oversight related to wetlands.
Democrats were incensed by the news, especially after Walker engineered the largest tax incentive in state history to bring Foxconn to the Badger State.
Since the project was announced in 2017, it has faced criticism over the $3 billion in taxpayer-funded initiatives and Foxconn's history of not following through on ambitious US factory announcements. Foxconn previously walked away from a plan to invest $5 billion and create 50,000 jobs in India, and similar deals in Vietnam and Brazil.
In its statement, Foxconn said it remained committed to building its science park in Wisconsin and "the creation of 13,000 jobs".