Trump, state GOP leaders praise Foxconn plan

President Donald Trump says Foxconn will add more manufacturing jobs than “we’ve seen in many, many decades” starting with a $10 billion campus in Wisconsin, a state that’s “very close to my heart.”

Trump at a White House announcement yesterday also thanked the “tremendous” Gov. Scott Walker for his work in helping Wisconsin beat other states that competed for the facility, which would make LCD panels for TVs, phones and other products.

Trump said the news is a sign that Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou has “put his faith and confidence in the future of the American economy.”

“If I didn’t get elected, he definitely would not be spending $10 billion,” Trump declared at the announcement, joined by Walker and other top Wisconsin leaders.

Walker, meanwhile, said Wisconsin will be “the new global home to cutting-edge technology” when the facility is up and running in southeastern Wisconsin.

Walker said the Foxconn campus, to be located in an area to be dubbed “Wisconn Valley,” will spread out over 20 million square feet — the size of 11 Lambeau Fields.

“This is a great day for America,” Walker said. “It is a great day for Wisconsin, and it’s a great day for Foxconn.”

The Walker administration will enter into a memorandum of understanding with Foxconn for the deal, which would make Foxconn eligible for up to $3 billion in tax credits tied to job creation and capital investment.

The company expects to hire 3,000 workers initially and eventually up to 13,000 workers.

According to a fact sheet the Walker administration shared with lawmakers, the credits would include: up to $1.5 billion in state income tax credits tied to job creation, up to $1.35 billion in state income tax credits for capital investment and a sales and use tax exemption of up to $150 million. Walker’s office says a special session of the Legislature would be needed to approve the incentive package.

Still, the fact sheet didn’t mention a specific location, saying that Foxconn is “evaluating multiple sites in southeast Wisconsin.”

Walker billed the announcement as the largest economic development project in state history, saying it’ll help Wisconsin “attract top talent from across the country and around the world” and keep college grads in the state.

The average yearly wage for the Foxconn jobs would be $53,875 along with benefits, according to the fact sheet.

In addition to the 13,000 potential jobs at the plant, the investment is expected to create at least 22,000 indirect jobs in the state.

The project is expected to create up to 10,000 direct and 6,000 indirect construction jobs over four years and would entail $5.7 billion in equipment and construction spending directed to Wisconsin companies.

Planning, hiring and construction is slated to begin immediately, according to the fact sheet, and the plant is to be operational by 2020.

The news was met by statements of support and approval by business groups in the state.

Kurt Bauer, president and CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, says Foxconn’s decision “is a validation of the policy agenda WMC has been pursuing for decades,” but that the announcement will add to the state’s difficulty in recruiting workers.

“Drawing people to Wisconsin from other states and abroad is now even more important and will require a comprehensive, collaborative effort by both the public and private sectors to be successful,” Bauer said.

“This will have a big impact on our industry to provide safe and affordable housing in southeastern Wisconsin,” said David Belman, president of the Wisconsin Builders Association.

John Mielke, president of the Wisconsin Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors, said the workforce policies of the Walker administration are “paying huge dividends.”

And Erik Sjowall, chairman of the Wisconsin Realtors Association, said Foxconn will “transform the economy in southeast Wisconsin and throughout the state.”

“…Wisconsin will hopefully become a global leader in high-tech manufacturing and technology,” Sjowall added.

On stage during the announcement were Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou, Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville.

Ryan, whose 1st congressional district would include the facility, called the announcement an “absolute game changer” for the state, crediting Walker for quarterbacking the effort and his past work on helping Wisconsin manufacturers.

See the fact sheet: