Public Seminar: Foxconn, Take Two

April 28, 2021 Government ContractingState and Local Policy

The Foxconn deal is dead. Long live the Foxconn deal.

Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn made a massive pact with Wisconsin in early 2017 under which it would have received more than $4 billion in state and local tax incentives and other benefits, in exchange for building a factory that would employ 13,000 people. In the years since, it became patently clear that Foxconn had no intention of fulfilling its end of the bargain, as the corporation constantly shifted plans for what products it would make, what kind of facility it would build, and how many jobs it would create.

Like so many of these deals, the initial announcement served its political purpose — with former President Trump gloating that the plant would be the “eighth wonder of the world” — while the actual benefits never materialized for local residents.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers made renegotiating the deal a key part of his successful 2018 campaign against then-Gov. Scott Walker. As of this week, that renegotiation is complete and public. I’m going to break down the good, the bad, and the ugly in this second swipe at making a deal with Foxconn.