In response to Evers, Foxconn says it’s committed to contract, but open to new ideas

Company to continue weekly engagement with Evers administration

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:11 pm

Foxconn Technology Group said Thursday it is committed to its contract with the state of Wisconsin but is also open to new ideas.

“Foxconn’s commitment to job creation in Wisconsin remains long term and will span over the length of the WEDC contract and beyond,” the company said in a statement.

Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday said he is looking to renegotiate portions of the state’s contract with the Taiwanese tech giant. Former Gov. Scott Walker struck a deal in 2017 that made $3 billion in tax incentives available to Foxconn if the company invested $10 billion and created 13,000 jobs in the state.

The project laid out ambitious timelines for job creation and capital investment, but Foxconn has also scaled back its plans since the deal was originally announced, citing a changing market and need for product flexibility.

The company fell short of its job creation targets in the first year of the deal, hiring 178 people when 260 jobs were required to earn any payroll tax credits. The company needs to add another 342 jobs this year and 1,642 by the end of 2020 to earn any payroll tax credits.

“Foxconn remains committed to our contract with the State of Wisconsin, as well as continuing to work with Governor Evers and his team in a forthcoming and transparent manner,” the company said. “While we continue our weekly engagement with the Evers Administration, especially through the Department of Administration and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), we are open to further consultation, collaboration, and new ideas.”

Evers said Wednesday he was confident the Foxconn project would have a smaller footprint than originally planned, “but it seems to be a footprint that everybody agrees is likely to happen.”

The governor did not say how many jobs he expects Foxconn to create and said it would be premature to discuss what parts of the contract should change.

Foxconn said its investment is driven by a vision to help Wisconsin create an advanced high-tech ecosystem and establish the state as a global technology hub. The company highlighted its investments that go beyond the contract, including a $100 million partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a $100 million venture fund with Johnson Controls, Northwestern Mutual and Advocate Aurora Healthcare and a $1 million smart cities competition.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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