Small-town Wisconsin suffering under weight of Foxconn deal, with CEO headed to White Hous...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 30
There's no sign yet of Foxconn's $10 billion plant, or the 13,000 local jobs it was supposed to provide, but wide swaths of Wisconsin's Mount Pleasant town have been very nearly totally demolished in preparation for the promised factory.

President Trump (center) breaks ground on the Foxconn factory in June 2018
President Trump (center) breaks ground on the Foxconn factory in June 2018


While Foxconn, a major supplier to Apple, has so far done little toward its plan of building a $10 billion manufacturing plant in Wisconsin, the state has demolished 75 homes and bought land in a plot that remains chiefly unused. The town of Mount Pleasant, 29 miles south of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has large sections of the town that have been demolished in preparation for the promised plant.

Beyond just the homes and land, infrastructure work has begun largely at the locality's expense, reports the Wall Street Journal. Interstate 94 is being widened to support the promised thousands of employees at the county's expense, and for compatibility with driverless trucks, but Foxconn is largely absent from the area.

The original project was for a plant that would manufacture large LCD panels for televisions sets. Following purported issues with finding appropriate skilled labor, Foxconn spoke of transferring Chinese engineers to the region.

Foxconn has maintained its claim of creating 13,000 jobs in the Racine County area. Mount Pleasant itself is currently home to 27,000 residents. At the end of 2018, Foxconn had spent only $99 million, 1% of its pledged investment, according to state filings. Foxconn had estimated that there would be 2,080 in-state employees by before 2019 ended, but ended up with less than 200.




Following complaints from Wisconsin's recently-elected Governor, Tony Evers, Foxconn has attempted to renegotiate the contract.

"To my knowledge, this was the first time either Foxconn or the State of Wisconsin has mentioned amending or changing the agreement approved [in] 2017," Evers has said. While not revealing Foxconn's recommendations, Evers added that Wisconsin is identifying areas that "will enable greater flexibility and transparency as the project continues to evolve."

"Foxconn has never wavered from our commitment to our contract with the State of Wisconsin and the creation of 13,000 jobs as part of our broader effort to make the Badger state a global technology hub," the company said to us in a statement earlier in April.

In the meantime, the local council has decided to lease 966 acres of land back to the local farmer they bought it all from for $1.7 million last August. For the privilege, the farmer is paying $170,000 per year.

Local residents who haven't accepted deals are campaigning to keep their homes, and are complaining to officials from the county about the future of the Foxconn plant.

"At some point we're talking about things that are just imaginary," said Nick Demske, a commissioner in Racine County. "We're pretending."

Foxconn's chairman Terry Gou is reportedly set to attend a meeting in the White House on Tuesday afternoon. It's not known whether Gou was summoned to the White House by the President, but Reuters is reporting that the meeting is related to the Wisconsin project.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 685member
    This was BS when proposed.
    It was a scam when Trump and the previous Governor staged their photo op.
    Now the state and local governments are out massive amounts while Foxconn got what it came for.
    A few million dollars worth of good press.
    Wisconsin may gain a few hundred, maybe a thousand jobs, but not the giant tech hub promised. It just isn't, and was never going to, happen. You can tell by the way Foxconn's story keeps changing; a device manufacturing plant, an LCD plant, a research centre, it's whatever will sell at this or that particular press conference. They can say anything. It doesn't matter it isn't going to happen anyway.
    It was a scam from day one.
    edited April 30 dysamoriaspice-boylarryjwleftoverbacontyler82minicoffeeols
  • Reply 2 of 25
    DAalseth said:
    This was BS when proposed. It was a scam when Trump and the previous Governor staged their photo op. Now the state and local governments are out massive amounts while Foxconn got what it came for. A few million dollars worth of good press. Wisconsin may gain a few hundred, maybe a thousand jobs, but not the giant tech hub promised. It just isn't, and was never going to, happen. You can tell by the way Foxconn's story keeps changing; a device manufacturing plant, an LCD plant, a research centre, it's whatever will sell at this or that particular press conference. They can say anything. It doesn't matter it isn't going to happen anyway. It was a scam from day one.
    I'd bet around 2020 this deal is going to suddenly ramp up and start to start almost doing something that resembles doing something that looks like progress if progress consisted of saying it's progress that's coming.  After the election cycle, the deal is going to return to it's dormant phase.  The people of Wisconsin will still be left holding a bag full of empty promises.  
    dysamoriaDAalsethchasmleftoverbaconminicoffee
  • Reply 3 of 25
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,266member
    70+ homes demolished for this PR scam. Talk about socializing the losses... 
    davenchasmleftoverbaconminicoffee
  • Reply 4 of 25
    The problem for Foxconn, as I understand it, is that in order to make the large screen LCD displays that were planned for the Wisconsin facility, Corning was going to supply the glass by building a plant nearby.  Corning changed its mind and now the glass must come from overseas, which will make the LCD displays uneconomic.  Foxconn still plans to make conventional LCD screens at the Wisconsin facility, but that will be less manufacturing than originally planned.  They are currently trying to find some other manufacturing that they can do there to supplement the conventional screen production.

    As for the residents of that area footing the bill for infrastructure improvements, Foxconn has agreed (and is obligated) to reimburse for those expenses at minimum, regardless of how many jobs eventually are created.

    jbdragon
  • Reply 5 of 25
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 892member
    DAalseth said:
    This was BS when proposed. It was a scam when Trump and the previous Governor staged their photo op. Now the state and local governments are out massive amounts while Foxconn got what it came for. A few million dollars worth of good press. Wisconsin may gain a few hundred, maybe a thousand jobs, but not the giant tech hub promised. It just isn't, and was never going to, happen. You can tell by the way Foxconn's story keeps changing; a device manufacturing plant, an LCD plant, a research centre, it's whatever will sell at this or that particular press conference. They can say anything. It doesn't matter it isn't going to happen anyway. It was a scam from day one.
    I'd bet around 2020 this deal is going to suddenly ramp up and start to start almost doing something that resembles doing something that looks like progress if progress consisted of saying it's progress that's coming.  After the election cycle, the deal is going to return to it's dormant phase.  The people of Wisconsin will still be left holding a bag full of empty promises.  
    Really? Would you bet your home on that happening or just someone else's? You have zero information that anything will change so for now don't but your money on a scam job. 
    jbdragon
  • Reply 6 of 25
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 892member
    If Foxconn were not a manufacture of Apple's products would any of you be defending them in this case?
  • Reply 7 of 25
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 297member
    Mount Pleasant occupies 35 square miles of terrain, 34 of which is land. Foxconn's expected campus was to occupy four square miles along the mostly rural I-94 corridor. Whether you work the numbers by area (four out of 34) or population (75 homes out of 11,253 housing units, as of 2010), AI's claim that Mount Pleasant has been "very nearly totally demolished" does not withstand even cursory analysis.

    I have family in Mount Pleasant, who were dismissive of my cynicism over Foxconn when the project was pitched (given my knowledge of Foxconn's Brazilian experiment) and are still (I think unreasonably) hopeful. The tax burden on Mount Pleasant residents for the infrastructure work already completed is substantial, and without tax revenue to repay it, the community will be hurt. This is a serious issue, but it does no good to make wild claims as AI has done here.
    jbdragonsteveau
  • Reply 8 of 25
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 685member
    Vergilius said:
    As for the residents of that area footing the bill for infrastructure improvements, Foxconn has agreed (and is obligated) to reimburse for those expenses at minimum, regardless of how many jobs eventually are created.

    I'll believe that when I see it.
    spice-boy said:
    DAalseth said:
    This was BS when proposed. It was a scam when Trump and the previous Governor staged their photo op. Now the state and local governments are out massive amounts while Foxconn got what it came for. A few million dollars worth of good press. Wisconsin may gain a few hundred, maybe a thousand jobs, but not the giant tech hub promised. It just isn't, and was never going to, happen. You can tell by the way Foxconn's story keeps changing; a device manufacturing plant, an LCD plant, a research centre, it's whatever will sell at this or that particular press conference. They can say anything. It doesn't matter it isn't going to happen anyway. It was a scam from day one.
    I'd bet around 2020 this deal is going to suddenly ramp up and start to start almost doing something that resembles doing something that looks like progress if progress consisted of saying it's progress that's coming.  After the election cycle, the deal is going to return to it's dormant phase.  The people of Wisconsin will still be left holding a bag full of empty promises.  
    Really? Would you bet your home on that happening or just someone else's? You have zero information that anything will change so for now don't but your money on a scam job. 
    Apparently you didn't read all of the comment. 1STnTENDERBITS doesn't think it's going to happen either. 
    1STnTENDERBITS
  • Reply 9 of 25
    xbitxbit Posts: 243member
    A lesson for any city thinking of offering enormous incentives to multinational companies. Don't join the race to the bottom.
    leftoverbaconminicoffeesteveau
  • Reply 10 of 25
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,149member
    I think Mount Pleasant made a bad deal. Just for the simple fact that they are being taken advantage of. The Economy is booming. Unemployment is at a all time low. It's a workers market right now. Yet Nothing much is happening here? Can Trump do anything about this Mount Pleasant mess? Who knows,.....

    To me is seems the local Government there screwed up. I don't think taking 75 homes for something like this was a smart move. I'm not a fan of Local Governments taking homes because they think they can make more Tax money for a Business. It's something that's been happening around the country for years.

    https://ij.org/press-release/top-ten-worst-abuses-of-eminent-domain-spotlighted-in-new-report/
    edited April 30
  • Reply 11 of 25
    spice-boy said:
    DAalseth said:
    This was BS when proposed. It was a scam when Trump and the previous Governor staged their photo op. Now the state and local governments are out massive amounts while Foxconn got what it came for. A few million dollars worth of good press. Wisconsin may gain a few hundred, maybe a thousand jobs, but not the giant tech hub promised. It just isn't, and was never going to, happen. You can tell by the way Foxconn's story keeps changing; a device manufacturing plant, an LCD plant, a research centre, it's whatever will sell at this or that particular press conference. They can say anything. It doesn't matter it isn't going to happen anyway. It was a scam from day one.
    I'd bet around 2020 this deal is going to suddenly ramp up and start to start almost doing something that resembles doing something that looks like progress if progress consisted of saying it's progress that's coming.  After the election cycle, the deal is going to return to it's dormant phase.  The people of Wisconsin will still be left holding a bag full of empty promises.  
    Really? Would you bet your home on that happening or just someone else's? You have zero information that anything will change so for now don't but your money on a scam job. 
    Please re-read my comment.  Something seems to have been lost in translation.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 396member
    jbdragon said:
    I think Mount Pleasant made a bad deal. Just for the simple fact that they are being taken advantage of. The Economy is booming. Unemployment is at a all time low. It's a workers market right now. Yet Nothing much is happening here? Can Trump do anything about this Mount Pleasant mess? Who knows,.....

    To me is seems the local Government there screwed up. I don't think taking 75 homes for something like this was a smart move. I'm not a fan of Local Governments taking homes because they think they can make more Tax money for a Business. It's something that's been happening around the country for years.

    https://ij.org/press-release/top-ten-worst-abuses-of-eminent-domain-spotlighted-in-new-report/
    It wasn't local government per se. It was Trump, Republican governor Scott Walker, and the GOP controlled legislature and state agencies that made the bad deal happen. Consistent with overturning all regulations in favor of corporation money, environmental laws were waived, water quality laws were waived, etc. MT Pleasant of course bought into the scheme. 

    The scheming is not over. Foxconn made agreements and promises to the University of Wisconsin System and to the University of Wisconsin Madison flagship, all with much fanfare and little public knowledge of what was promised and what commitments UW made. Then, within the last week, Foxconn contracted with BMO bank to purchase their building across the street from the Wisconsin State Capitol. As a counter to the last article written about Wisconsin and Foxconn, where they emphasized empty buildings, Ghou made references to this bank building purchase that it will have hundreds of people there. At the present the building will be home to, of course, at least 100 BMO Bank employees who continue to occupy and do business there. Ghou mentioned the purchase of this building demonstrates Foxconn's commitment to Wisconsin and UW (the Madison campus and System admin is just down the street from the Capitol). Besides the typical tax benefits of sell and lease-back of the BMO Bank building, it's not been made clear what Foxconn plans to use this building for. Lobbying? 
    bsimpsentmayspice-boy
  • Reply 13 of 25
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 972member
    jbdragon said:
    I think Mount Pleasant made a bad deal. Just for the simple fact that they are being taken advantage of. The Economy is booming. Unemployment is at a all time low. It's a workers market right now. Yet Nothing much is happening here? Can Trump do anything about this Mount Pleasant mess? Who knows,.....

    To me is seems the local Government there screwed up. I don't think taking 75 homes for something like this was a smart move. I'm not a fan of Local Governments taking homes because they think they can make more Tax money for a Business. It's something that's been happening around the country for years.

    https://ij.org/press-release/top-ten-worst-abuses-of-eminent-domain-spotlighted-in-new-report/
    But Trump sang the song like it was all him and the previous governor that got FoxConn to build a plant in the US and secured all those jobs. Don’t put it on just the locals after it turns bad. 

  • Reply 14 of 25
    What a ridiculous article. “No sign” of Foxconn plant? Gee, maybe that’s because construction isn’t planned to start until this summer?

    https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/business/2019/03/18/foxconn-says-move-forward-flat-screen-factory-summer/3202103002/
  • Reply 15 of 25
    Mover XMover X Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    The people of My Pleasant will be forced to accept what the real plan was anyway. The building of huge warehouses and distribution centers for products manufactured overseas. Manufacturing in southern Wisconsin never made sense. Now that the infrastructure is in place and the debt secured here comes the real plan.

  • Reply 16 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,313member
    DAalseth said:
    This was BS when proposed.
    It was a scam when Trump and the previous Governor staged their photo op.
    Now the state and local governments are out massive amounts while Foxconn got what it came for.
    A few million dollars worth of good press.
    Wisconsin may gain a few hundred, maybe a thousand jobs, but not the giant tech hub promised. It just isn't, and was never going to, happen. You can tell by the way Foxconn's story keeps changing; a device manufacturing plant, an LCD plant, a research centre, it's whatever will sell at this or that particular press conference. They can say anything. It doesn't matter it isn't going to happen anyway.
    It was a scam from day one.
    Oh, I doubt that. It would serve no one’s interests to do such a thing. More likely market conditions changed. Also, the parties who entered into the agreement should’ve added a non-performance clause which would result in a financial penalty if the plant and/or the jobs failed to materialize. If the agreement failed to take such a possibility into account, that’s completely on the representatives for Wisconsin.
  • Reply 17 of 25
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 297member
    What a ridiculous article. “No sign” of Foxconn plant? Gee, maybe that’s because construction isn’t planned to start until this summer?

    https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/business/2019/03/18/foxconn-says-move-forward-flat-screen-factory-summer/3202103002/
    There is little sign of activity at any of the other Foxconn sites around Wisconsin. They were supposed to staff up multiple research centers across the state and there's no indication any of that has progressed past the purchase of buildings last year. Foxconn has been evading questions by local newspapers.
    edited April 30
  • Reply 18 of 25
    I live in Mount Pleasant, we had very little choice. The factories and industrial sites are huge and are in awkward areas that make the overall traffic flow Bizarre. 
  • Reply 19 of 25
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,266member
    spice-boy said:
    DAalseth said:
    This was BS when proposed. It was a scam when Trump and the previous Governor staged their photo op. Now the state and local governments are out massive amounts while Foxconn got what it came for. A few million dollars worth of good press. Wisconsin may gain a few hundred, maybe a thousand jobs, but not the giant tech hub promised. It just isn't, and was never going to, happen. You can tell by the way Foxconn's story keeps changing; a device manufacturing plant, an LCD plant, a research centre, it's whatever will sell at this or that particular press conference. They can say anything. It doesn't matter it isn't going to happen anyway. It was a scam from day one.
    I'd bet around 2020 this deal is going to suddenly ramp up and start to start almost doing something that resembles doing something that looks like progress if progress consisted of saying it's progress that's coming.  After the election cycle, the deal is going to return to it's dormant phase.  The people of Wisconsin will still be left holding a bag full of empty promises.  
    Really? Would you bet your home on that happening or just someone else's? You have zero information that anything will change so for now don't but your money on a scam job. 
    Maybe you should carefully re-read 1STnTENDERBITS’ post...
  • Reply 20 of 25
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,266member
    jbdragon said:
    ... The Economy is booming. Unemployment is at a all time low. It's a workers market right now.
    Oh give me a friggin’ break...
    leftoverbacon
Sign In or Register to comment.