President Donald Trump is set to make a big jobs announcement Wednesday afternoon at the White House.
He’s expected to appear with Foxconn CEO Terry Gao to announce a new factory in Wisconsin that will make liquid-crystal displays, or the screens that eventually get turned into flatscreen TVs, according to reports from AP, CNBC, and Bloomberg.
Foxconn is best known for being Apple’s primary manufacturing partner, and it assembles products like the iPhone. Apple spent $US75 billion with Foxconn in 2016.
Foxconn does the vast majority of its manufacturing in Asia, although it does have facilities in Brazil, India, and other countries. So this factory would be its first major manufacturing facility in the United States, except for a planned plant in Pennsylvania announced in 2013.
The factory will receive a $US10 billion investment from Foxconn, according to a person with knowledge of the announcement, and will employ 3,000 people at first, expanding over a 2 1/2 year period.
It’s unclear whether the announcement in Wisconsin means that other states that were vying for the plant did not receive a Foxconn contract. Foxconn is expected to announce additional plants as well.
Michigan’s economic development corporation has been aggressively competing for the plant as well, having signed a confidentiality agreement to negotiate for “Project Eagle,” which is what Foxconn has called the project, on May 10, according to files seen by Business Insider.
Foxconn officials have also mentioned Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and Texas as potential states where Foxconn would like to do manufacturing.
Win for Wisconsin Republicans
The plant will be placed in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s district, according to reports, which would be a big win for the Republican leader.
He tweeted out a link to the planned announcement on Wednesday morning.
Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, also tweeted about a “major jobs announcement for Wisconsin” on Wednesday. His staff was involved with the negotiations with Foxconn.
It’s been a team effort, with White House chief of staff Reince Preibus and the Jared Kushner-led White House Office of American Innovation pitching in to help secure the plant and whe White House . Trump campaigned for the presidency on a promise to add manufacturing jobs, and this Foxconn deal will likely be touted by the White House as a major victory.
Wisconsin likely offered Foxconn a major incentives package with tax relief and other benefits to secure the plant, although the details of the “sweetener” package are not public. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has reported that some experts believe it could total as much as $US3 billion.
Big, beautiful plants
Foxconn is best known for working with Apple, but it’s unclear whether “Project Eagle” will produce components for Apple products.
The LCDs produced by the plant will likely end up in Sharp-branded TVs, Bloomberg previously reported.
Trump did say in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that Apple CEO Tim Cook had agreed to build “three big plants — big, big, big.”
“I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success. He called me, and he said they are going forward,” Trump told the Journal. During the presidential campaign, Trump called for Apple to build its computers in the United States. The vast majority of Apple’s products are assembled in China.
Foxconn is not Apple though; Apple is just one of Foxconn’s many customers.
Apple declined to comment on Trump’s remarks, where or when the plants are planned for, as well as whether the Foxconn announcement is related to Apple.