Foxconn Has Only Spent 1 Percent of Their Pledge in Wisconsin

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers recently announced this intention to renegotiate the state's deal with Foxconn that led to former Governor Scott Walker's political defeat and I think we can infer that Evers' decision was at least partially influenced by the company's latest filings.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Foxconn has spent only 1 percent of what they promised and created about 10 percent of the jobs they promised.

Contractors have bulldozed about 75 homes in Mount Pleasant and cleared hundreds of farmland acres. Crews are widening Interstate 94 from Milwaukee to the Illinois state line to accommodate driverless trucks and thousands of employees. Village and county taxpayers have borrowed around $350 million so far to buy land and make infrastructure improvements, from burying sewer pipes to laying storm drains.

One thing largely missing: Foxconn.

As of Dec. 31, the Taiwanese manufacturing giant, famous as an Apple Inc. supplier, had spent only $99 million, 1% of its pledged investment, according to its latest state filings. The company projected as many as 2,080 in-state employees by the end of 2019 but had fewer than 200 at last year’s end, state filings show. The village is still awaiting factory building plans for review. Locals said Foxconn contractors have recently been scarce on the site.

The fact that Foxconn hired fewer than 200 people by the end of 2018 is a problem, but even if they had hired over 2,000 that could be considered a problem, too.

As you may recall, Foxconn and former Governor Scott Walker sold the public on a pledge to create 13,000 jobs largely occupied by in-state employees. Moreover, the company's pledge to hire 2,000 people by the end of this year is also a retreat from an initial pledge to hire 3,000.

It's possible that Governor Tony Evers' efforts will compel Foxconn to get in gear and follow through, but I feel justifiably skeptical and I think we're going to see the legality of the state's deal debated in court in the near future.

It's not entirely clear just how much of Scott Walker's deal the state can legally cancel.

  • muselet

    … Foxconn has spent only 1 percent of what they promised and created about 10 percent of the jobs they promised.

    That’s considerably better than I expected.


  • Aynwrong

    One of the major news magazine shows should do a profile of the states that have been seriously harmed by the financial mismanagement and shenanigans of Republican governors. Wisconsin, Kansas, Louisiana and to a lesser extent, New Jersey. Mississippi would have to be a generational study from what I understand.

    • gescove

      Not to mention Michigan – the deliberate poisoning of children and families in Flint with lead – thanks to the undemocratic and racist effort to install “emergency managers” and cut costs by Gov. Rick Snyder. Burning in hell for all eternity would be too light a sentence for everyone involved, IMHO.

      • Aynwrong

        True, but who am I kidding? The “liberal media” will never do any such thing. Telling the truth is too “biased.”

        • Badgerite

          That is a very good idea though. Anyone who thought that this ridiculous scheme with Foxconn was going to pan out probably has a degree from trump ‘university’.
          Wisconsin as the Midwest Silicon Valley. Yeah, right. Anyone who has spent a winter here knows how that one was going to work out. As I understand it, what Foxconn is planning is really a distribution center for the Midwest. And that is a one shot deal and in all likelihood a highly automated one. Probably cheaper and with more tax payer subsidies than they could get by Chicago. Wisconsin is not anywhere as bad off as Kansas but the Foxconn deal was made for political reasons, not economic ones. Wisconsin can surely put those taxpayer funds to better use.
          Schools, roads, small business incentives, institutions of higher learning, etc. The UW has always been an economic engine to this state. And they slashed it’s budget for pie in the sky ridiculousness of ‘Silicon Valley’ Wisconsin.

      • Draxiar

        I’ll settle for Snyder only being allowed to drink unfiltered Flint water for the rest of his life.