May 8, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden hits Trump with major Microsoft announcement in Wisconsin

Then-President Trump speaks at the groundbreaking of Foxconn's plant in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. The factory never fully materialized.

Then-President Trump speaks at the groundbreaking of Foxconn's plant in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, in 2018. The factory never fully materialized. Photo: Andy Manis/Getty Images

President Biden will travel to Racine County, Wisconsin, on Wednesday to unveil a $3.3 billion investment by Microsoft to build a new artificial intelligence data center, according to Biden officials.

Why it matters: It's another high-profile announcement from the president on how he's helping to create jobs with private sector investment — but with a twist.

  • He'll be taking a not-so-subtle shot at former President Trump in the same location where Trump touted a $10 billion Foxconn facility, which he called the "eighth wonder of the world" seven years ago.
  • That facility was scaled back and never fully materialized.

Driving the news: The White House is inviting voters in the crucial swing state to make a direct comparison between the Microsoft and Foxconn deals.

  • The message it wants to drive home is clear: Trump promised jobs that were never delivered.
  • Biden officials say the Microsoft project will lead to 2,300 union construction jobs, followed by 2,000 permanent jobs in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin.
  • Microsoft has said it will partner with Gateway Technical College to develop an academy that hopes to train 1,000 Wisconsinites for data center jobs.

The big picture: It's all part of Biden's post-State of the Union strategy to combat what officials call "Trump amnesia," where voters give Trump more credit for the economy than Biden officials think is due.

  • Biden and his cabinet have been hitting swing states to convince voters that Biden's three signature pieces of legislation — his infrastructure, clean-energy and CHIPs bills — are creating thousands of good-paying jobs.
  • That allows Biden and his surrogates to swoop into battleground states, and tout new projects in places that could help him win re-election.

Flashback: In March, Biden announced some $20 billion in grants and loans for Intel to expand its semiconductor production in Chandler, Arizona.

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