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Foxconn Loses Bid for Tax Credits on Factory Trump Touted

Jackie Davalos
·2 mins read

(Bloomberg) -- Foxconn Technology Group’s request for tax credits from Wisconsin for a factory there was rejected by the state, which said the electronics manufacturer fell far short of the promises it made three years ago for the proposed $10 billion plant.

In a letter to the company Monday, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation wrote that Foxconn isn’t producing the large-sized TV display panels outlined in the original contract, hadn’t invested the pledged amount in the plant and failed to employ even the minimum number of people needed to get subsidies.

The decision is a blow to Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which announced the high-profile deal in July 2017 with U.S. President Donald Trump. The leading iPhone manufacturer promised to bring 13,000 factory jobs to Wisconsin in exchange for billions in government subsidies. At a ground-breaking in June 2018, Trump touted the proposed factory as “the Eighth Wonder of the World.”

Under the deal, Foxconn was required to invest $3.3 billion and create 2,080 full-time jobs by the end of 2019, the state agency said. Instead, the manufacturer employed fewer than the minimum required 520 employees and invested roughly $300 million, according to the agency’s review. Foxconn’s “activities are smaller in scale and economic impact to the region and the State of Wisconsin” than those projected when the plant was initially approved, the state agency said in its letter. The Verge earlier reported the decision.

If Foxconn wanted to work with the agency, the company would need to amend the current agreement “to align the size and scope of the tax credit incentive with the size and scope of the actually occurring business activities,” according to the letter.

“Once Foxconn is able to provide more accurate details of the proposed project, such as its size, scope, anticipated capital investment, and job creation, WEDC would be able to offer support for the project with tax incentives as it does for many large and small Wisconsin businesses,” Missy Hughes, the secretary of the state economic development agency, said in a letter to the company. “After touring the project two weeks ago, I can see that there are many avenues for Foxconn’s future success in Wisconsin, and I look forward to partnering with you in that success.”

(Updates with comments from state official in the final paragraph.)

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