Federal and local politicians tight-lipped about Foxconn rumors

Wisconsin officials and lawmakers both in state and in Washington D.C. have been tight-lipped about the rumors of the manufacturing plant Foxconn coming to Racine County.

Our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal reported the Taiwanese manufacturer expects to build south of Highway 20.

Any news about Foxconn possibly coming to Wisconsin is expected to come first from the White House. Several sources say an announcement could happen as early as Wednesday, and Gov. Scott Walker and other key Wisconsin leaders are expected to attend.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told TODAY’S TMJ4 in an exclusive interview that Foxconn has met with the president in the Oval Office. He says the process started with a helicopter ride over Kenosha during President Donald Trump’s visit to Snap On tools in April.

“He said ‘What is that, why is all that land vacant?’...He said ‘That land should be used.’ So when Foxconn came into the White House into the Oval Office, the president said, ‘I know a good spot, that you should go, that place in Kenosha’ and then all of sudden the conversation started and the governor came on board and Walker’s doing lot of work ever since.”

Priebus stopped short of any announcement or deal with Foxconn, but more may come out on Wednesday.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has met with Foxconn officials and believes Wisconsin's workforce and tech schools will be a good fit.

She wants to know more details and possible tax incentives to land the deal.

“I'm certainly hearing rumors that some sort or memorandum of understanding may be upcoming and it's very promising,” Baldwin said.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has been monitoring Foxconn developments as well from Washington.

When asked what the possibilities of the deal happening were, Johnson said, “Obviously they are interested I know they did a round of meetings in Washington, D.C. I met with them.”

Back in the Badger State, local officials have been mum as well. State Sen. Van Wanggaard’s office told TODAY’S TMJ4 they have not seen an incentives package, but they expect to see one soon.

State Rep. Thomas Weatherston told our partners at the MBJ that the incentive package is the largest in state history, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The local politicians’ offices TODAY’S TMJ4 reached out too on Tuesday wouldn’t share much of anything else on the matter.

House Speaker Paul Ryan hinted at a deal but told TODAY'S TMJ4 this week he wants Walker, who he called the "quarterback" of the deal, to share the news. 

Priebus echoed those statements, claiming he was "not going to break any news," leaving it to the governor and the president. 

 

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