from the took-you-long-enough dept
You might recall how Donald Trump and Paul Ryan’s once-heralded Foxconn factory deal in Wisconsin quickly devolved into farce. The state originally promised Taiwan-based Foxconn a $3 billion subsidy if the company invested $10 billion in a Wisconsin LCD panel plant that created 13,000 jobs. But as the subsidy grew the promised factory began to shrink further and further, to the point where nobody at this point is certain that anything meaningful is going to get built at all.
Last October, reports emerged clearly illustrating the ever-shrinking nature of the deal and the way Foxconn was just using nonsense to justify its failure to follow through. While the company hadn’t built much of anything meaningful in the state, it was still routinely promising to deploy a “AI 8K+5G ecosystem” in the state to somehow make everything better. Shockingly, that mish-mash of buzz words wound up being effectively meaningless.
Fast forward to late 2020, and Wisconsin finally appears to be getting wise to Foxconn’s grift. Attempts to renegotiate the original deal understandably aren’t going so well, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has finally rejected Foxconn?s latest application for tax subsidies, correctly noting Foxconn hasn’t come close to fulfilling the promises in the original contract, which included spending $3.3 billion by the end of last year (Foxconn spent $280 million) or hiring 13,000 employees (they only hired 550).
Needless to say, the WEDC isn’t particularly thrilled, since Foxconn’s original promises died long ago, and the company has been consistently intractable in efforts to renegotiate a new agreement:
“The Recipients are ineligible for tax credits because of their failure to carry out the Project,? WEDC wrote in its letter to Foxconn, quoting the passage defining the project as a Gen 10.5 in the original contract. ?The fact that the Recipients have neither built, nor started to build or operate, the required Generation 10.5 TFT-LCD Fabrication Facility (the ?10.5 Fab?) is not in dispute. The Recipients have acknowledged that they have no formal or informal business plans to build a 10.5 Fab within the Zone, and WEDC and the State of Wisconsin have corroborated that fact from observation, evaluations, and from industry experts hired to provide consulting services.”
For those keeping score at home, that’s yet another Donald Trump show pony proposal that wound up being more trouble than it was worth.