Foxconn’s delays might finally give Wisconsin the upper hand

The company is falling behind hiring goals and not building what’s described in its contract

During the 2018 campaign, Wisconsin’s governor Tony Evers criticized the Foxconn project as a bad deal, but a done deal: the bill offering the Taiwanese tech giant up to $4.5 billion in subsidies had been passed into law, and the state and local governments had already acquired land and started building infrastructure for what was supposed to be an enormous manufacturing facility. For good measure, outgoing governor Scott Walker, who aggressively wooed Foxconn and repeatedly touted the project in his failed reelection bid, signed lame duck legislation limiting his successor’s ability to oversee it. With so much already in motion, Evers said it was too late to change the project and instead promised to make the Foxconn deal work as best he could for Wisconsin taxpayers...

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Ken Notes: I am not a fan of the Verge but we must to read it to see how they spin the Foxconn story.

I have a crystal ball (which is appropriate because the Foxconn CEO has a sea goddess named Mazu). My ball is telling me Foxconn is going to use the renegotiation, lawsuits, bad press and protests to throw its hands in the air and walk away.

The republicans will of course blame the Governor, the Governor will say it was a bad deal, and the communities will be left paying for infrastructure that won`t get used or paid for. This is of course the wrong approach and would be terrible for Wisconsin. This is a business project and requires business thinking. The Communities and State should be willing to work with Foxconn while holding them to property value and jobs directly proportional to the investment they actually make (when Verona did the EPIC deal, I was on the council at the time, we structured the whole thing as pay as you go). Universities, Tech Schools, and communities should encourage their new goals to discover new technologies they can manufacture in the State. We should all stay out of the courts and at the table.

Finally we should tell our own story and help Foxconn tell theirs. I did suggest Christian Schneider was a representative of the national media when he wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post. Actually he was a former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist and spokesperson for DOT under the Walker Administration. That said we are still not telling the whole story so I will give you all some talking points.

Foxconn came to build big screen TV`s and cut a way too good deal with the communities and State. The price and any potential for profits fell out of the marketplace (a 55in 4K is $329 Walmart). Foxconn decided to slow down and look for a more profitable market. They bought a bunch of property around the State and announced that they would be developing a research arm in Wisconsin. They significantly downsized their project and slowed down the building process as well. Foxconn founder and CEO Terry Gou is running for president of Taiwan and may be a little less focused on Wisconsin. He said he is running in the 2020 election because a sea goddess named Mazu told him to "step up" for the people of Taiwan -- I kid you not read the article.

The bottom line is Wisconsin may or MAY NOT be screwed, but if are politically motivated instead of negotiating in good faith on behalf of the Wisconsin people and continue to tell the WRONG story we are sure to be left with an empty development site and a bunch of properties across the state for sale.... And the funny thing is Foxconn may very find it`s profitable niche in Wisconsin as a commercial property investor...



- - Volume: 7 - WEEK: 23 Date: 6/6/2019 8:46:31 AM -