Trump pushes Foxconn to clarify US plans – BBC News

U.S. President Donald Trump (C) takes part in a groundbreaking with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (L) and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou during a visit to Foxconn"s new site in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, U.S., June 28, 2018

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Mr Trump has repeatedly promoted Foxconn’s investment in Wisconsin

US President Donald Trump has intervened following news that Foxconn was adjusting the focus of its new factory in Wisconsin.

Foxconn had said it was considering a high-tech research hub for the site, earlier planned for making LCD panels.

That news was seen as a setback for Mr Trump, who has made reviving the manufacturing sector a priority.

But Foxconn said on Friday it would move forward with its planned construction of a plant.

The decision followed “productive discussions with the White House and the company” and a “personal conversation” between the president and Foxconn chairman Terry Gou, it said.

Mr Trump has repeatedly touted Foxconn’s investment in Wisconsin – a politically important state – as proof his economic policies are working.

He celebrated the statement on Twitter as “great news”.

Plans for a plant that produces smaller displays – reported last summer – already marked a step back from the original announcement.

On Friday, Foxconn did not go into detail about the plans for the plant or what kind of workers it intended to hire.

“This campus will serve both as an advanced manufacturing facility as well as a hub of high technology innovation for the region,” it said.

Foxconn had said earlier this week that it remained committed to its investment in Wisconsin, which had been celebrated for its potential to create up to 13,000 jobs.

It said it was adjusting its focus due to “new realities” in the global market environment and outlined plans to build a packaging plant; a high precision molding factory and an assembly facility, among other projects.

Controversy

The White House-backed project is controversial due to billions in incentives approved for the company.

Even under optimistic projections, an analysis for Wisconsin state lawmakers found it would take more than 25 years for the state to break even on the deal.

Receipt of the incentives depends on the firm’s investment and hiring, which has already fallen short of early goals.

Local officials on Friday said they expected Foxconn to begin work on the manufacturing facility in the next 18 months.

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