"May 28 at 3:03 PM
Christian Schneider is a reporter for the College Fix and author of “1916: The Blog.” He is formerly a columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and served as spokesman for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in the Scott Walker administration last year.
In late July 2017, President Trump gathered the media at the White House to announce that Taiwanese corporate giant Foxconn Technology Group would be building a $10 billion manufacturing plant in southeastern Wisconsin.
“This is a great day for American workers and manufacturers and for everyone who believes in the concept and the label 'Made in the USA,’” boasted Trump, promising a “state of the art manufacturing facility for the production of LCD panel products.”
Trump made room in his victory declaration to include Foxconn chief executive and chairman Terry Gou, praising him for his “faith and confidence in the future of the American economy.”
“If I didn’t get elected, he definitely would not be spending $10 billion,” Trump said of Gou, at which point he turned and grabbed the unsuspecting businessman, engaging him in an awkward left-handed bro-grip.
Soon, it will be up to Gou to determine whether that cringe-inducing moment was more of a political death grip.
Since its 2017 unveiling, the Foxconn project has been beset by negative news. By the end of last year, the company had spent only 1 percent of the amount it had pledged to build the factory and had hired only about 10 percent of the employees it anticipated hiring by the end of the project’s first year. In June 2018, the company announced it was downgrading the plant from a “Generation 10.5” facility to a “Generation 6 plant,” which would produce smaller LCD panels. In January, the company announced it was scrapping the LCD portion of the factory altogether, but quickly backtracked after a call from Trump.
In February, the company boldly announced it would be moving forward with construction of a factory, which is only notable because … the public believed that was the plan all along. This is like getting a random call from your wireless provider telling you your phone is definitely not going to burst into flames tomorrow. At that point, it might be time to worry.
In recent weeks, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) has said he does not believe Foxconn will live up to its promise to create 13,000 new jobs and has sought changes to the contract with the state. Foxconn responded by saying it has “never wavered from our commitment to our contract with the State of Wisconsin and the creation of 13,000 jobs as part of our broader effort to make the Badger state a global technology hub."
However, while once thought to be a big electoral winner, the project could end up sinking Trump in Wisconsin, a state that he won in 2016 by a deli-thin margin of less than 23,000 votes"
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