Walker says Foxconn would benefit suppliers in Northeast Wisconsin

Published: Aug. 22, 2017 at 4:22 PM CDT
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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says the entire state will experience an economic boost from a proposed Foxconn technology plant in southeast Wisconsin.

Walker visited Green Bay Tuesday to promote the estimated fiscal benefits from the Taiwanese LCD screen maker's proposal to invest $10 billion to build a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin.

Walker's administration estimates a Foxconn plant would employ 13,000 people.

The governor says construction of a multi-billion dollar plant would benefit suppliers across the state. Walker tells Action 2 News it would generate nearly $6 billion for construction suppliers.

"Just in construction alone, they estimate at least $5.7 billion of the total amount they're spending building this will be just resourced here in the state of Wisconsin. There won't be a construction worker here in the state that won't have the opportunity to work," Walker says.

Walker says the plant could help create hundreds of jobs across the state.

"And then, in the long term, $1.4 billion a year that they believe will be sourced specifically for Wisconsin businesses. That's more than four times what Oshkosh Corp. does with supply base, most of which is here in Northeastern Wisconsin," Walker says.

New North, a company based in Northeast Wisconsin, tells Action 2 News that suppliers are interested in working with Foxconn.

"A lot of suppliers have certainly heard the news and know that this is a very substantial development for the state, so they're certainly on board to try to be suppliers to the company as well," says Connie Loden, Senior Project Manager, New North.

A bill giving $3 billion in tax breaks to Foxconn is currently in the state legislature. It passed the Assembly with bi-partisan support. The state Senate has yet to take up the incentive package bill.

There is opposition to the incentives package. Organizing group Citizen Action Northeast Wisconsin and State Rep. Amanda Stuck (D-Appleton), were part of an event Tuesday to voice opposition.

The group is critical of the unprecedented $3 billion subsidy for an international company. They also oppose the speed in which the bill is being pushed through the legislature with little public input.

"It's a bad deal on its face, even if you accept its premise. We doubt that big subsidies to multinational corporations that decide to plant themselves here is the best way to build economic strength and create more family-supporting jobs and to raise wages," said Robert Kraig, Executive Director, Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

If the incentives package is approved by the full legislature, work on the Foxconn plant would begin shortly. The company estimates the plant would be complete by 2020.

Foxconn has not announced a location for the plant.