Taiwan

Foxconn backs out of Wisconsin manufacturing job pledge Trump touted

Donald Trump walks to Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou at groundbreaking with shovels and American flag.
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."

Expert Voices

Despite U.S. hopes, Bolsonaro sends mixed signals on China strategy

Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro arrives at the transitional government's headquarters in Brasilia, on November 27, 2018. - Bolsonaro takes office on January 1, 2019.
Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro arrives at the transitional government's headquarters in Brasilia, on Nov. 27. He will take office on Jan. 1. Photo: Evaristo SA/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump is sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Brazil on Monday in a show of support for the Jan. 1 presidential inauguration of right-wing nationalist Jair Bolsonaro. In a press call previewing Pompeo's visit, the U.S. State Department said that “China’s predatory trade and lending practices” would be among the topics of discussion with Bolsonaro and Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo.

The big picture: The Trump administration hopes that Bolsonaro, who has jolted his country’s political establishment and promised to be similarly disruptive in the foreign policy arena, will join its effort to combat growing Chinese influence in Latin America. But while Brazil's new leader criticized China on the campaign trail, he's likely to assume a more pragmatic attitude toward Beijing once in office.

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