Foxconn unveils $10 billion investment in Wisconsin during White House event

Chinese technology company Foxconn will invest $10 billion to create a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Wisconsin, chairman Terry Gou said at the White House on Wednesday.

Foxconn said the deal will create 3,000 jobs. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said the agreement could eventually grow to 13,000 jobs, with 22,000 indirect and induced jobs and 10,000 construction jobs. Walker said it could also help the state attract and retain talent.

"American jobs — that's what we want," President Donald Trump said.

Foxconn will make screens used for automobiles, health-care and other electronic devices, Walker said. The investment will be in southeast Wisconsin, while a larger facility is constructed over the coming years, Trump said. Foxconn has reportedly eyed a U.S. facility for several years.

President Donald Trump
Joshua Roberts | Reuters
President Donald Trump

The larger facility, which will be "about the biggest there is anywhere," is still under negotiation, Trump said. Foxconn said in a statement that the investment "signifies the start of a series of investments by Foxconn in American manufacturing in the coming years."

Gou, accompanied by Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and other officials, said that since television was invented in America, it was fitting to open an liquid crystal display (LCD) plant in the U.S. Gou touched on reducing the costs of services such as health care through artificial intelligence, alongside fellow electronics company Sharp.

Ryan said he could not have been more excited to hear of Foxconn's interest in Wisconsin.

"This is a great day for American manufacturing," said Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican. "It is another example of how our region is really a manufacturing powerhouse. ... This is the topper of all toppers."

CNBC earlier reported some details of the announcement.

A senior White House official, who could not be named because the information was not yet public, shared some of the news prior to the announcement.

No new tax programs were made to accommodate Foxconn at the federal level, although existing tax programs were used, the official said.

When asked if the fact that Wisconsin, a swing state, voted for Trump during the election factored into the deal, the official said there were "a lot of factors" such as workforce and relationship with state leadership that factored into the decision. Trump said Wisconsin is a major job creator and close to his heart.

"We were very clear that Foxconn had to select a state in which they could be successful," the official said.

The deal also comes amid tenuous relations between the United States and China, as the administration works to create jobs while driving a hard line on trade policy. Foxconn is not a choice free of controversy: Otherwise known as Hon Hai Precision, the company has come under scrutiny in the past over labor practices in China.

Still, the White House official said the deal represents Trump's "buy American" agenda.

"Since the very first day of this administration," Pence said, "President Trump has been busy rolling back federal red tape, unleashing American energy, working to lower taxes, rebuild our infrastructure and give the American people the world-class health care they deserve. And job creators have responded to the president's agenda."

— With reporting by CNBC's Justin Solomon.


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