MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Taiwanese company that assembles Apple’s iPhones and other electronics is considering building a plant in Wisconsin that could employ thousands of people.
A person with direct knowledge of the negotiations who was not authorized to speak publicly confirmed to The Associated Press on Wednesday that the state is in talks with Foxconn. At least one other state, Michigan, is also pursuing the plant.
President Donald Trump alluded to negotiations with an unspecified company during a visit to Milwaukee on Tuesday, saying Gov. Scott Walker might get “a very happy surprise very soon.”
Walker’s administration deferred comment to the state’s chief economic development agency. Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation spokesman Mark Maley said the agency doesn’t comment on pending or potential opportunities.
Foxconn has said the plant could employ 5,000 people and spend up to $4 billion on a U.S. plant
According to our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal, Foxconn is looking at two sites in the Kenosha Area and if they were to locate in Southeast Wisconsin, most of the jobs would come to Racine or Kenosha Counties
The MBJ also reported Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) staff traveled to Japan June 2-4, to “pursue a foreign direct investment opportunity in the state,” said Kelly Lietz, vice president of marketing and brand strategy for the WEDC.
Representatives from Gov. Walker’s office, the WEDC, the Department of Workforce Development and several sources said they were unable to comment on the AP report indicating Foxconn is in negotiations with the state.
Tom Still, President of the Wisconsin Technology Council, thinks the Badger State would be a perfect fit for Foxconn.
"We have a great work force," Still said. "We have the ability to train more workers. Our higher education system in particular is really set up to provide workers who would be good in a setting like Foxconn. Wisconsin, with its proximity to Chicago, with its proximity to the Twin Cities, is a better place logistically for a company like that to operate."
Wisconsin could be competing with Michigan for the plant, according to another AP report, that says Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder flew to Asia the same weekend in an effort to bring the plant to his state.