Wall Street Journal: Foxconn likely coming to southeast Wisconsin

Posted at 10:58 PM, Jul 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-24 23:58:56-04

One of the largest manufacturing plants in America is likely coming to southeast Wisconsin. 

A report in the Wall Street Journal said an announcement from the electronics giant Foxconn is expected later this week in Washington D.C.  

Foxconn is a big partner of Apple.  The report said the Wisconsin plant would manufacture display panels for TVs.  The multi-billion dollar plant is said to bring thousands of jobs to Racine County.

"It signals that Wisconsin is open for business," said John Boyd, The Boyd Company, Inc.

Boyd helps overseas corporations find land to set up shop in America.  He called Foxconn a trophy manufacturer.

"This is one of the most significant projects in economic development today. Ten-thousand workers that Foxconn wants to employ," Boyd said.

Boyd has been monitoring the Taiwanese company closely.

"I don't think it's a coincidence Foxconn plans to do an announcement in Washington, D.C. to associate itself with this popular buy American agenda that we're seeing out of the White House today," Boyd said.

Boyd believes Wisconsin's leadership has to do with the electronic giant's decision.

"I think being in (House Speaker) Paul Ryan's district clearly is key here. Economic development in 2017 is all about leadership.  Obviously, (Gov.) Scott Walker deserves credit for forming the state business climate," Boyd said.

Ryan hinted at a deal when asked Monday if he had any insight.

"I do I do, but I'm going to let the governor, who has been quarterback, share that news," Ryan said.

Boyd added education might play a role.

"Wisconsin produces over 75,000 graduates each year.  Almost 40,000 from the University of Wisconsin each year so Foxconn will be tapped into one of the highest skill sets and valued labor markets in the country," Boyd said.

Foxconn will likely get a mix of incentives for choosing Wisconsin.

"Property tax abatements, hiring tax credits, infrastructure will be part of the deal I'm sure, but ultimately water.  The access to water Wisconsin has that's a commodity. I think Foxconn values this will be a very energetic intensive factory," said Boyd.

He says the multi-billion dollar plant is also looking at Racine County's proximity to Chicago's O'Hare airport.

"Wisconsin is now in the big leagues," Boyd said.

Boyd said the state's construction industry will benefit, along with the housing market and retail.

Last week Democratic State Sen. Lena Taylor from Milwaukee said the Foxconn deal lacks transparency.  She told our news partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal she worries what multi-million incentives could mean for taxpayers.  She said if the company takes the incentives she wants to make sure it's held accountable.