Trump Administration is Trying Hard to Bring Manufacturing Jobs Back to the U.S.A.
Where is Foxconn building a plant: Foxconn Says It Plans to Build Factory in Wisconsin. Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics supplier for Apple and other tech giants, said Wednesday it would open its first major American factory in Wisconsin. The new factory, which would produce flat-panel display screens for televisions and other consumer electronics, could raise Wisconsin’s profile in advanced manufacturing.
TV was invented in America,” Mr. Gou said at the White House, before noting that products like LCD displays and similar technology were no longer made here. “We are going to change that. It starts today in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin was among the states in the Midwest that helped tip the election to Mr. Trump in November. At 3.1 percent, its unemployment rate is well below the national average of 4.4 percent, but the loss of relatively high-paying, blue-collar jobs has taken a toll in many parts of the state.
What does this mean for the economy: White House officials noted President Trump’s direct negotiations with Foxconn for the project, which they said would create at least 3,000 jobs and represent a $10 billion investment. Mr. Trump joined Foxconn’s chairman, Terry Gou, at the White House for an announcement on Wednesday, with two Wisconsin Republicans, Gov. Scott Walker and Paul D. Ryan, the House speaker, in attendance.
Mr. Walker said that Foxconn would receive $3 billion in tax breaks and other subsidies over the next 15 years from the state.
This is a great day today for American manufacturing and American workers and for everybody who believes in the concept, in the label, Made in the U.S.A. – President Donald Trump
Mr. Trump said, “Mr. Gou joins a growing list of industry leaders who understand America’s capabilities are limitless.” “I’d see Terry and say, ‘You’ve got to give us one of these massive places,’” Mr. Trump said. “If I didn’t get elected, he definitely wouldn’t be spending $10 billion.”
In February, Brian Krzanich, Intel’s chief executive, joined Mr. Trump at the White House to announce that the company would invest $7 billion to finish a computer-chip factory in Arizona and add 3,000 jobs.
Mr. Gou said in January that Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, was considering investing more than $7 billion in the United States, and potentially adding 30,000 to 50,000 jobs. Mr. Walker said Foxconn’s investment could indirectly result in an additional 22,000 new jobs, with its planned 20-million-square-foot complex occupying a footprint three times the size of the Pentagon.
Even if the project did ultimately produce 25,000 new jobs, it would be a tiny fraction of the total number of jobs the United States economy has added during the most recent recovery. In the first half of 2017, for instance, the economy added a monthly average of 180,000 jobs. The manufacturing sector alone gained 41,000 jobs overall in that six-month period.
What is Foxconn: Known formally as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Foxconn is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer. It has promised to invest in the United States before, most notably a $30 million, 500-worker plant in Pennsylvania that was never built.
“I’ll be excited about the Foxconn announcement when workers are getting paychecks in Wisconsin,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, a nonprofit partnership of domestic manufacturers and the United Steelworkers union.”
Foxconn has a history of talking big and not necessarily delivering on their commitments. – Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing
“I do hope this is built and there are tons of jobs.” He noted that makers of consumer electronics long ago left the United States for Asia, even as factories making heavy goods like cars, jet engines and steel managed to hang on in this country. “Over and over, we’ve heard the excuse that consumer electronics can’t be brought back,” Mr. Paul said. “I do hope this succeeds because it shows these sourcing decisions are more about choices than capabilities. There’s very little electronic display production in the United States now.”
Mr. Trump said Tuesday that Apple had promised to build three large plants in the United States.
Most of Apple’s iPhones are built by Foxconn in China, and Apple has said in the past that it would be very difficult to move that work to the United States.
“A flat-panel display is not a small thing, with today’s TVs; it’s certainly not inexpensive to ship,” he said. “Building close to where the customers are makes sense for a product like that.”
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