Jan 23, 2017

Foxconn vies for Trump's attention

Associated Press

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou said that his company is considering spending $7 billion to construct a television-display panel plant in the United States that would support between 50,000 and 60,000 jobs.

What critics say: Anyone can "consider" investing in the United States—firms are just jumping at the chance to grab good headlines and ingratiate themselves to President Trump. The most important consideration in this decision isn't politics, but the expense of shipping large tv screens from China to the U.S. consumer.

What fans say: Foreign investment in U.S. manufacturing is about more than just economic fundamentals. President Trump's political pressure will continue to boost such investment, as will tax and trade policies the new administration will implement. Companies like Foxconn are merely anticipating these changes.

What we say: Firms can crow all they want about planned investment, but Trump's success or failure at bringing back jobs will be seen in broad economic data like wage and employment growth, and back-of-the-envelope math says that $7 billion in new investment usually supports far fewer than 50,000 jobs.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,066,706 — Total deaths: 56,767 — Total recoveries: 223,697Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 258,214 — Total deaths: 6,605 — Total recoveries: 9,408Map.
  3. Business latest: Mark Cuban criticizes "arrogant" 3M on respirator production — The wartime mobilization effort to produce ventilators and medical supplies got started too late.
  4. Politics latest: Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are worried about the difficulties of delivering the $2.2 trillion in stimulus aid.
  5. Jobs update: The U.S. lost 701,000 jobs in March, but the new report doesn't reflect the height of the virus' impact on the economy.
  6. World update: About half of the deaths worldwide are in Italy and Spain, with fatalities exponentially increasing across Europe.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Mark Cuban criticizes "arrogant" 3M on respirator production

Photo: Axios Events

Businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said during an Axios virtual event Friday that 3M is "arrogant" for not speaking up about respirator production in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

What he said: Cuban criticized the company for "making more globally than domestically," echoing a similar line from President Trump now that the U.S. is the epicenter of the pandemic. "You can't ghost the American people," he told Axios CEO Jim VandeHei from Dallas.

Coronavirus puts ambitious plans for self-driving cars on the shelf

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In two weeks, the coronavirus has brought the entire U.S. auto industry to a screeching halt. When it finally sputters back to life, many companies may be forced to change, defer — or even abandon — their ambitious plans for self-driving vehicles.

The big picture: Auto factories are shut down across North America to prevent the spread of the virus among workers, while stay-at-home orders have kept car shoppers away from showrooms. The resulting financial shock means carmakers have shifted their focus to survival, not investing in expensive technologies with no clear payoff.