Conn Job: Foxconn Wisconsin Manufacturing Cancellations, US Labor Costs Too High

Foxconn already scaled back its Wisconsin plans and is about to do so again. US labor costs are too high.

Reuters reports Foxconn Reconsidering Plans to Make LCD Panels at Wisconsin Plant.

Foxconn Technology Group is reconsidering plans to make advanced liquid crystal display panels at a $10 billion Wisconsin campus, and said it intends to hire mostly engineers and researchers rather than the manufacturing workforce the project originally promised.

Announced at a White House ceremony in 2017, the 20-million square foot campus marked the largest greenfield investment by a foreign-based company in U.S. history and was praised by President Donald Trump as proof of his ability to revive American manufacturing.

Revival Not

Foxconn, which received controversial state and local incentives for the project, initially planned to manufacture advanced large screen displays for TVs and other consumer and professional products at the facility, which is under construction. It later said it would build smaller LCD screens instead.

Now, those plans may be scaled back or even shelved, Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn Chief Executive Terry Gou, told Reuters. He said the company was still evaluating options for Wisconsin, but cited the steep cost of making advanced TV screens in the United States, where labor expenses are comparatively high.

Earlier this month, Foxconn, a major supplier to Apple Inc., reiterated its intention to create 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin, but said it had slowed its pace of hiring. The company initially said it expected to employ about 5,200 people by the end of 2020; a company source said that figure now looks likely to be closer to 1,000 workers.

Conn Job

Rather than manufacture LCD panels in the United States, Woo said it would be more profitable to make them in greater China and Japan, ship them to Mexico for final assembly, and import the finished product to the United States.

In terms of TV, we have no place in the U.S.,” he said in an interview. “We can’t compete.”

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Gary Anderson 1 month ago Contributor's comment

Sorry, Mish, after watching the US and the West con Huawei, it almost seems justified to poke Uncle Sam in the eye.