Gov. Evers Looking To Renegotiate Foxconn Contract

Apr 17, 2019

Updated Thursday at 4:25 p.m. CT

Thursday, Foxconn said it remains committed to "long term" job creation in Wisconsin. This comes after Gov. Tony Evers said that it’s "unrealistic" to think that Foxconn will employ 13,000 people at the manufacturing plant it’s building in Racine County.

Evers said Wednesday that the state is working with the Taiwanese electronics giant on possibly revising the original contract, given the changes to the project.

He said he’s looking at renegotiating the current contract with the state because it “deals with a situation that no longer exists.”

Foxconn has insisted it will employ 13,000 people and invest $10 billion in Wisconsin, even as the company has scaled back the size of the project.

In a statement, Foxconn said it remains committed to the deal, while being "open to further consultation, collaboration, and new ideas."

>> Find all of WUWM's Foxconn coverage here.

Evers said he doesn’t think the company’s plans are going to change because its chairman and CEO Terry Gou announced this week that he plans to run for president of Taiwan.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill in 2017 for the state to provide $3 billion in tax incentives for Foxconn to build a massive LCD screen manufacturing plant in Wisconsin.

Local officials contributed another $1.5 billion.

Since the contract was signed, Foxconn has said it will scale back the size of the project from manufacturing of LCD screens for flat screen TVs to a smaller screen operation for phones.

There's been a mix of reactions to Evers' announcement. He recieved biting criticism from Republican Legislators like Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. In a statement, Fitzgerald said, “If the state is willing to renege on its commitment to Foxconn and open up a contract without agreement by both parties, then what guarantee can Wisconsin make to any other company that wants to expand here?"

But a Racine County resident who's personally affected by the Foxconn deal had a different take. Kim Mahoney is the final homeowner on a portion of the Foxconn property. "It's a great day for the state of Wisconsin, because we have a governor who is going to hold this foreign, wealthy corporation accountable to the promises they made to the Wisconsin people in response to the 4.5 billion dollars we agreed to pay them in incentives," Mahoney said.

The Mahoney's house.
Credit CHUCK QUIRMBACH