Tech Council: Foxconn flip-flop vision for WI due to economic market

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MADISON (WKOW) — Foxconn Technology Group is changing its vision for the estimated $10 billion dollar plant in Racine County once again. After the company talked to President Donald Trump Friday, Foxconn said it plans to proceed with building a factory to make high-tech LCD screens and employ researcher and developers.

The back and forth decision making over Foxconn’s plans in Wisconsin seems to come to a halt for now as the company sent a statement reassuring their commitment to the dairy state. President of Wisconsin’s Technology Council, Tom Still, meets with Foxconn officials often and said he’s not surprised by their announcement, pointing to a shift in the economic market.

“This was probably a lot less about anything on the ground in Wisconsin than it was about global issues and market trends,” said Still.

He noted televisions are becoming less expensive and for months iPhone sales have been on the decline. However, Still is hopeful the company can still be successful especially now adding a research and development aspect.

“The outcome was quick enough that it makes you believe that this would be the course that would be taken anyway… this wasn’t a rapid departure that we were hearing from in the past,” he said.

Still is pleased with Foxconn’s recent decision as he says it aligns with Wisconsin’s strengths in robotics and medical imagining.  He said it can help the tech giant recover from the impacts of the trade war between the U.S. and China.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty with what’s going on between U.S. and China and what would come out of that and a lot of negotiations are coming to a head. It is possible, some of the discussions involved Foxconn and the president evolved around trade.”

As for Foxconn’s commitment to 13,000 jobs, Still said it will be a hard goal to reach but said it’s “obtainable” calling it at least a five-year process.

“They may or may not get there as it remains to be seen. I think it will be a significant number especially with the renewed talk that the fab facility in Racine takes place.”

Emilee Fannon

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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