Wisconsin lawmakers debate billions in
incentives for Foxconn plant
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[August 17, 2017]
By Suzannah Gonzales
(Reuters) - The Wisconsin State Assembly on
Thursday will consider a $3 billion incentive package for a proposed
liquid-crystal display factory by Taiwan's Foxconn, the first vote on
the deal by a chamber of the state's Republican-controlled legislature.
Foxconn, an electronics manufacturer formally known as Hon Hai Precision
Industry Co Ltd, hopes to open a $10 billion plant in 2020 at a
1,000-acre site in southeastern Wisconsin.
Foxconn is a major supplier to Apple Inc for its iPhones.
Wisconsin's Republican governor, Scott Walker, ordered the state
legislature into special session on Aug. 1 to consider the incentive
package, which would award Foxconn $3 billion over 15 years in mostly
Foxconn, Walker and other leaders announced the deal on the incentives
last month in a White House ceremony. It must now be approved by
The 20 million-square-foot LCD plant would initially employ 3,000
people, but Walker and Foxconn said the company could ultimately employ
13,000 at the site.
Proponents, including President Donald Trump, U.S. House of
Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and Walker, have touted the project's
investment potential and job creation, including an expected 22,000
ancillary and 10,000 construction jobs.
But critics including some Democrats have attacked the plan as corporate
welfare, too expensive, rushed and potentially harmful to the
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The logo of Foxconn, the trading name of Hon Hai Precision Industry,
is seen on top of the company's headquarters in New Taipei City,
Taiwan on March 29, 2016. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo
On Monday, the Wisconsin Assembly's jobs and economy committee voted
8-5, along party lines, to advance Foxconn legislation.
The committee rejected 22 amendments proposed by Democrats,
including required minimum pay of $20 an hour for full-time
employees at the plant. It also rejected a proposal that at least 70
percent of employees must be Wisconsin residents and that a study of
regional transportation needs should be conducted.
After the Assembly votes at the end of Thursday's debate, the
legislation still needs approval by the Wisconsin State Senate and
by the joint finance committee, which has both Assembly and Senate
members, before going to the governor. The finance committee and
state Senate are Republican-controlled also.
Wisconsin would not break even on the incentive package for at least
25 years, according to a legislative analysis released last week.
(Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; Editing by Sharon
Bernstein and Matthew Lewis)
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