WEDC board to get update on Foxconn talks, vote on program guidelines

Agency not concerned with length of negotiations, spokesman says

Attendees visit the Foxconn lounge at the MMAC all-member meeting

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:12 pm

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. board will receive an update on the agency’s contract negotiations with Foxconn Technology Group during a meeting set for Tuesday.

Attendees visit the Foxconn lounge at the MMAC all-member meeting

The update will take place in closed session, but the board will also be voting on program guidelines for the electronics and information technology manufacturing zone program set up by the Foxconn bill passed by lawmakers during a special session last month .

WEDC spokesman Mark Maley declined to release the guidelines ahead of the meeting, citing the agency’s policy to not release documents until the board has seen them.

The board passed program guidelines at its September meeting for another program aimed at Brookfield-based Fiserv Inc. that was also included in the special session. The language of those guidelines largely matched what was included in the bill.

The Foxconn bill set up a program for the state to give Foxconn up to $2.85 billion in tax credits, with $1.5 billion coming from job creation and $1.35 billion coming from capital investment.

WEDC still has to finalize the contract to actually award the company the tax credits. A memorandum of understanding signed in July by Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn chairman Terry Gou set a Sept. 30 deadline. WEDC secretary and CEO Mark Hogan told the board in September the agency and company are not concerned with that date.

Asked if there was any particular thing holding up negotiations or if both sides were just doing their due diligence, Maley said it was the latter.

“This is a big deal with numerous facets that must all be negotiated,” he said in an email. “We are going to make sure we get it right – and aren’t concerned about how long it will take.”

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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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