Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is not letting go of his doubts that Foxconn will ever hire 13,000 in the state, despite reassurances from the company.
Evers, who ran for election in 2018 criticizing the incentive package that former Gov. Scott Walker offered the Taiwanese company, doubled down this week.
The governor wrote a letter Monday to Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Director Mark Hogan that expresses doubt about Foxconn’s future.
“Foxconn’s present plans offer details through the end of 2020 and reflect a substantially smaller footprint, less capital investment, and fewer manufacturing workers than its original plans,” Evers wrote in the letter.
He said he expects to re-visit the state’s contract with Foxconn in the “coming months.”
“Foxconn under the original agreement were based on, and tied to, construction of a Generation 10.5 TFT-LCD Manufacturing Facility. Formal evaluation and incentives approved for the Foxconn project were based on that specific type of manufacturing facility and the supply chain connected to that project,” the governor’s letter states. “Foxconn no longer intends to build and operate such a facility on the Mt. Pleasant site and will instead construct a different facility.”
But those aren’t the only doubts Evers is airing in public.
The governor sat down with CNBC on Tuesday to talk about Foxconn, and once again said that he doubted the company’s promises.
“I’m confident in what I see. And what I see is a plant that’s going to employ about 1,500 people,” Evers said during the interview.
Foxconn has promised to hire 13,000 workers at its to-be-built plant in Mount Pleasant. The company released a statement after Evers’ interview that restated their commitment to meeting their jobs promise.
The letter to Hogan is the latest in the back and forth over the incentive package for Foxconn, which could be worth up to $4 billion.
Hogan said that number sounds large, but it is entirely based on what Foxconn actually does.
“The contract works. They didn’t create the jobs. It’s a performance-based contract,” Hogan said in response to the CNBC interview. “They don’t get the tax credits. They understand that.”
Foxconn has broken ground on its plant. The company says it expects to be making LCD screens in Wisconsin by the end of 2020.
Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square. Reposted with permission.