Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer and major supplier to Apple Inc., has announced plans to build a $10 billion plant in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, to make LCD display screens.
The company, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry and which supplies Apple with screens for the iPhone, made the announcement Wednesday as company executives paid a visit to U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House.
Trump said at the meeting that the Foxconn commitment was a result of his election win. And, in fact, just two days after Trump was inaugurated, Foxconn Chief Executive Terry Gou told reporters his company plans to invest $7 billion in a U.S. factory to make computer displays.
“If I didn’t get elected, he definitely would not be spending $10 billion,” Trump said on Wednesday. “We are going to have some very, very magnificent decades.”
In addition to Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who said the project will be the largest economic development project in Wisconsin history, were at the White House event.
Foxconn has pledged to invest $10 billion over the next four years to build a factory that will create a projected 3,000 jobs with a potential to add 10,000 more, the company said in a statement.
But Foxconn made a similar pledge for a factory in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 2013, promising it would invest $30 million and hire 500 workers for a plant to be built there. The deal was widely praised by state and local officials, but the factory was never built.
The Washington Post reported that Gou made similar announcements about planned projects in Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Brazil. In some cases, projects have begun, but fallen far short of the expansive results Gou promised.
Foxconn also has a history of worker safety issues and labor unrest. The company got unwanted international attention in 2010 when, between March and May of that year, 10 workers at Foxconn’s Shenzhen committed suicide. Foxconn’s Shanxi site was the site of a four-hour worker riot in September 2012 that involved some 2,000 people. It was eventually quelled by security personnel.
Apple has defended its supplier, but an audit it requested by the Fair Labor Association found that Foxconn workers were subjected to forced overtime, frequent accidents and unrealistic production quotas.
VOA’s Jim Randle contributed to this report.