Foxconn to start production at Wisconsin factory by end of 2020

Taiwanese manufacturer has threatened to pull out

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President Donald Trump breaks ground with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (2nd L), Foxconn CEO Terry Gou (2nd R), U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., (R) and Christopher “Tank” Murdock (L), the first Wisconsin Foxconn employee, at a ceremony…

Foxconn plans to start construction of the manufacturing portion of its Wisconsin facility this summer and start producing flat screen displays there by the end of next year, the company announced Monday.

Wisconsin offered $4 billion in state and local tax incentives to Foxconn in 2017 to build the plant in the state. That incentive package became a major issue in the 2018 governor's race between incumbent Scott Walker, a Republican who signed off on part of that incentive package, and Tony Evers, the Democratic candidate who criticized it. Evers defeated Walker, but he has not pulled out of the package since taking office.

Foxconn, a Taiwanese company, makes products like iPhones at massive plants primarily in China. It originally promised to build flat screen televisions at the Wisconsin plant, and then changed plans to more modest LED flat screen displays.

Construction has been underway on other buildings at the site since June 2018. At one point earlier this year, one high ranking Foxconn executive suggested that it might drop manufacturing plans at the Wisconsin site altogether and use it mostly for research and development. But President Donald Trump, who had supported bringing the plant to Wisconsin, convinced Foxconn to restore manufacturing to its plans for the site.

The company did not give any update on how many manufacturing jobs would be needed and how many of its Wisconsin jobs would be in research and development. The company will get the full incentive package only if it hits a target to hire 13,000 workers.

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