© Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker via Instagram General | December 20, 2019
Wisconsin, Foxconn back to the mat
Foxconn Technology Group, despite changing the original deal, may still be able to qualify for up to USD 3 billion in state tax credits if they agree to new terms, according to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.
“If we have a deal that is reflective of what they are doing, it’s logical that they will get the credits,” Evers told The Associated Press in an interview on Thursday. “But if they don’t, that’s a whole different deal.” At issue is a 2017 contract signed by previous Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. The terms of that deal would allow Foxconn to earn just under USD 4 billion in state and local tax incentives if the company followed through to build a USD 10 billion display screen manufacturing campus and plant that would employ up to 13,000 people. At that time, President Trump touted the contract as a sign of a rehabbed domestic manufacturing economy. When Foxconn eventually announced it was downsizing the factory from its originally planned Generation 10.5 plant to a Generation 6 plant, it meant the factory would produce smaller, thin-film transistor liquid crystal display screens for cellphones and other mobile devices instead of larger screens. The change would result in significantly fewer jobs. Evers has taken the position that the contract’s terms must be updated to reflect the change to the original agreement, going so far as to communicate to Foxconn last month that they no longer qualify for the tax incentives and that any such perks would hinge on a refreshed contract. In the statement to AP on Thursday, Evers also said, “What they’re going to do now is completely different in many ways than what they were planning to do. And words mean stuff. And therefore, in order for us to have a document that is reflective of what we’re expecting to do, I think we should sit down and talk about it. And I think we will.” According to AP, Foxconn confirmed that talks with the Governor’s office are underway but stopped short of divulging any new details.