Jan 30, 2019

Foxconn backs out of Wisconsin manufacturing job pledge Trump touted

President Trump and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou at groundbreaking in. Wisconsin. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn is reconsidering its plans to manufacture flatscreen panels at a $10 billion Wisconsin plant that promised to bring in 13,000 jobs, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Foxconn's 2017 pledge to build the plant, which drew billions of dollars in subsidies from state taxpayers, has been touted by President Trump as one of the largest manufacturing investments by a foreign-based company in U.S. history. A Foxconn representative told Reuters that steep labor costs at the Wisconsin plant would make it impossible to compete with manufacturers outside the U.S., and that three-quarters of the plant's eventual jobs will be in research and design — rather than "blue-collar manufacturing jobs."

The big picture: The change in plans comes as demand for Apple's iPhone and other smartphones — many of which are manufactured by Foxconn — is dipping as a result of a weakening Chinese economy, the U.S.-China trade war and other factors. As the Philly Inquirer's Joseph DiStefano also notes, "Foxconn has been the subject of several stories touting astronomical sums of future investment, none of which have come to pass."

  • These include $100 million-to-$1 billion investments the company has pledged, and later reneged on, in Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, Colorado, Louisiana and four other states, according to the Inquirer.

Go deeper: Corporations are fleeing global chaos

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know so far

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Milwaukee Molson Coors brewery complex on Wednesday, including the shooter, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at an evening press conference with local police.

What's happening: Police said "there is no active threat" just before 6 pm ET, but noted the scene remains active. Police chief Alfonso Morales told reporters that officers have "more than 20 buildings we have to secure" at the complex and they do not currently have all employees accounted for, as more than 1,000 were at the complex during the shooting.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump assigns Pence to lead U.S. coronavirus response

Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced at a press briefing Wednesday evening that he'll be putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of leading the administration's response to the coronavirus.

The big picture: In the wake of a market sell-off and warnings from health officials that there's a real threat of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S., Trump sought to reassure the nation and Wall Street that the U.S. is "ready" for whatever comes next.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

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