What Foxconn – Apple’s Largest Manufacturer – Is Up To In Wisconsin

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This is the site where the
Gen6 Fab will be constructed. Wisconsin was ready
to receive Foxconn. It was ready to
receive industrial manufacturing. Foxconn. It’s a name that’s been in the
news a lot lately for this huge electronics factory it’s
building in Wisconsin. So far it’s just one building. Tech giant Foxconn is rethinking plans
for a multi-billion dollar plant touted by the president that was
supposed to bring thousands of jobs. So what does Foxconn do? It’s the world’s largest
contract manufacturer of electronics. Foxconn specializes in making things
like PCs, servers, power supplies, connectors and smartphones. In fact Foxconn is
Apple’s largest iPhone assembler. Other big name customers include
Dell, Samsung and Sony. Though not a household
name in the U.S., Foxconn is renowned in China where
it’s the largest private employer. If there’s one company that’s going to
be at the heart of international trade, geopolitics, electoral politics and
technology, it’s not Google or Facebook or Apple. It’s Foxconn. Now Foxconn has come into the U.S. and it’s in the midst of building
a big contentious factory in Wisconsin. America does not have
a single LCD Fab. We are going to change that. As part of the deal, Foxconn said
it would invest 10 billion dollars to build a high tech manufacturing facility
for liquid crystal display, or LCD, screens. I think we can say this is, we
can say, the eighth wonder of the world. Foxconn also pledged to create 13,000
jobs in exchange for around four billion dollars of incentives from
the state of Wisconsin. But things haven’t gone as planned. Foxconn has made promises to a number
of places, but hasn’t always followed through on them. Clearly the deal that was struck
is no longer in play. So we went to Wisconsin to
find out, what is Foxconn? And what is it really doing
in the farmlands of Wisconsin? Foxconn, simply put, manufactures electronics
for a variety of companies, specifically what’s known in the
industry as the three Cs: computer, communication and
consumer electronics. Foxconn is the world’s largest
contract manufacturer for electronics. They make a lot of iPhones. They make a lot of Sony PlayStations. They make a lot of
Nintendo Switch gaming consoles. There’s a really good chance that in
your house you already have products that were assembled in
a Foxconn facility. All those electronics brought Foxconn $157
billion in revenue in 2018. It employs around a million people
all over the world, with manufacturing facilities in 24 countries including
Mexico, the Czech Republic, Hungary and of course China, among others. The Taiwan-based company is best known
for its partnership with Apple, assembling iPhones, iPads
and other products. Apple is very important
to Foxconn. Apple is Foxconn’s largest customer. When Apple does well, Foxconn
tends to do well. And when Apple stumbles a little bit,
Foxconn tends to stumble as well. So when iPhone sales slumped earlier
this year, Foxconn took a hit. The company reported that
profits were down 17.7 percent in the first quarter of 2019. Now, President Trump is imposing tariffs
on Chinese companies and both Apple and Foxconn have been caught
up in the US-China trade tensions. Foxconn’S business has probably been affected
more than any other company on earth by the
US-China trade war. Because Foxconn’s the number one exporter of
value from China, they’ve been hit hardest by Donald Trump’s tariffs and they
will continue to be hit hardest by them as well as by Apple’s
downturn and a lowering of the sales of iPhones. At an investor’s conference earlier this
month, Foxconn said it is prepared to deal with the risks
from the trade dispute. Although both Apple and China’s Huawei
technologies have made some changes to their orders, Foxconn says it faces
limited impacts and that it has enough capacity outside China to meet
Apple’s demands in the American market. Twenty years ago, Steve Jobs asked Terry
Gou if he could make Apple products and manufacture them in the
United States, so the Apple products could say Made in USA. At that time, Terry Gou said,
“No, that’s way too expensive. I can’t do that.” But now with rising labor costs
in China, there are comparable abilities in other places. Although there’s no indication iPhones
will be manufactured in Wisconsin, Foxconn did tell us it now plans
to make much more than the originally planned 75 inch televisions. So a building this size, what volume
of product can we expect to see pumping out of there once
it’s at full capacity? I mean that’s that’s a challenging metric
to tell you, because the products that are associated with
us are multiple products. We will do commercial TVs up to 65
inch, but it also has multiple liquid crystal display sizes that we can produce
that are applicable in a variety of industries, from automotive to
education to entertainment to health care to medicine to sports,
security and smart city application. To understand its ever changing
promises for the factory in Wisconsin, let’s first take a look
at Foxconn’s history, its rapid growth, and what it’s up
to in other countries. The company had humble
beginnings. Terry Gou founded Foxconn with just 75 hundred dollars
in 1974, calling it Hon Hai Precision Industry, a name
that’s still used today. The story of Foxconn goes way back when,
you know, he started by making a certain kind of knob for televisions and
he would come to the United States and sell them and really barnstorm
businesses to get them to buy his parts. Coming from that to where he is now, where
Foxconn is now, you have to say it’s had a huge rise. Foxconn’s first manufacturing plant opened
in China in 1988. It hit the global stage in 2001,
when American based Intel hired Foxconn to manufacture its motherboards over
a major competitor Asus. By 2012, Foxconn was manufacturing
about 40 percent of consumer electronics worldwide. Today, Foxconn has diversified across
a multitude of businesses, from making circuit boards and home
appliances to industrial computers and semiconductors. It acquired Japanese electronics
maker Sharp in 2016 and it was a major investor in Future
Mobility, a car startup that aims to sell all electric vehicles by 2020. And just last year, Foxconn announced
it will buy electronics manufacturer Belkin International, which owns
well-known router and computer accessories brands Linksys and Wemo. And these days, founder Terry Gou is
no longer solely focused on making electronics. Terry Gou is now running
for president of Taiwan. And as a result of that, Terry
Gou’s business interests in Foxconn are running directly into his political interests
as a candidate for president of Taiwan. Still Gou and Foxconn have accomplished
a lot since the company’s early days. In fact Foxconn was so successful
that it was 25 years before the company reported an annual
dip in revenue. But the company’s revenue has decreased
in the past three quarters, going from about 43 billion in Taiwan new
dollars to about 13 billion, thanks in part to a decline in iPhone sales. Foxconn has also received a fair share
of bad press for issues at its factories. The scandal that made Foxconn into a
household name in the United States was in 2010, you had 14 of
its factory workers commit suicide sometimes by jumping off of
Foxconn factory buildings. These people were 16 hour shifts and
they live very close together in very small dormitories. It’s a very grim existence. It’s gotten so bad that Foxconn has
had to put nets up around the buildings to catch people when
they jump off the roof. In a statement Foxconn says, “Immediately
following the tragic incidents in 2010, Foxconn implemented company wide
comprehensive measures to mitigate against these tragedies
being repeated.” Foxconn has also been criticized for a
series of deals that didn’t work out as promised. Terry Gou and Foxconn talked about setting
up a plant in Brazil, but that never happened. In 2013, he talked about setting up
a plant in Pennsylvania and that didn’t happen. Now those deals weren’t as far along
as the one in Wisconsin, but still, Terry Gou has a track record of
promising a lot and delivering a little. Which leads us back to Foxconn’s latest
deal, the promise of what would be one of the largest electronics factories in
the world on 3,000 acres of farmland, 30 miles south of Milwaukee,
in the village of Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. The deal first started when
the White House called the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
in April 2017. Days later then-Governor Scott Walker was
in a meeting with Foxconn founder Terry Gou and Wisconsin
EDC head Mark Hogan. I met with Terry Gou in the
White House on April 28th of 2017. That was the first time
we met with the company. And so I’ve been
involved from day one. Foxconn put out a
request for proposal. Wisconsin and the Village of Mount
Pleasant offered the company almost four billion dollars in subsidies if
it creates the promised number of jobs with an average salary of
just under 54,000 dollars. For Foxconn, the site
location makes sense. It takes a huge amount of water
to clean the glass used in manufacturing LCD screens and Mount Pleasant is less
than 10 miles from Lake Michigan. No other Great Lakes State came
close to Wisconsin’s almost 4 billion dollar deal. Why is it worth almost four billion? It’s worth the dollars because of the
industry that it’s bringing to the state, to the United States
and to Wisconsin, the jobs. But it’s very scalable. So if this ended up being an
employer that employed 5,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 jobs in a state that we
have employment of three million people, that’s still a
very significant investment. So why did the state
want the deal so badly. And they offered the richest economic
development deal to Foxconn in the history of the United States. Donald Trump wanted to revive American
manufacturing and have a symbol of it. Paul Ryan wanted this plant to
be in his district and it was. Scott Walker wanted to be
seen as the jobs governor. All three of them have
been sorely let down. Hogan, who’s stepping down later this
year, has a different official take on why Wisconsin wanted
the Foxconn project. Manufacturing is very much a
part of Wisconsin’s DNA. It’s our legacy for 150 years,
over 150 years manufacturing has been critical to what we do. It represents almost 20% of our
workforce, 20% of our GDP. And the fact that Foxconn was going
to bring an industry that did not exist in the United States that
was very compelling and very intriguing from our perspective. Racine County, where Mount Pleasant is
based, has promised Foxconn 750 million dollars. This is a great day for American
workers and manufacturing and for everyone who believes in the concept and
the label Made in the U.S.A. Less than a year after Trump announced
the deal, Gou was in Mount Pleasant breaking ground with him. Foxconn’s original promise was impressive
but plans have continued to change ever since. This will be one of the largest
jobs ever built in the world. Foxconn was initially supposed to
build a generation 10.5 factory to manufacture screens up to 75
inches for TVs and other devices. In February Foxconn announced it would
build a generation six factory instead, which will
manufacture smaller screens. There are multiple Gen 10.5 facilities around the world and there’s
a glut in that market. So really business is market driven and
the Gen 6 factory gives us a greater variety of products to
be effective in the marketplace. So far Foxconn has also fallen short
on the jobs it promised to create. It lost out on a 9.5 million dollar tax incentive in 2018
because it’s created 182 jobs, 78 short of the 260 promised by
the end of that year. But that doesn’t seem to worry Hogan. That just proves that
the contract works. They didn’t create the jobs. It’s a performance based contract. They don’t get the tax credits. They understand that. There are tax incentives for Foxconn if
we meet certain criteria within the contract with the state and
we’re dedicated to that. That in a nutshell is
how Wisconsin says it’s protected. If Foxconn doesn’t deliver, it won’t get
all that nearly $4 billion in subsidies promised by the state. They’re moving an industry to the United
States so they really have to get up and running. This is a marathon,
it’s not a sprint. But some people, including Wisconsin’s
new governor Tony Evers, are questioning Foxconn’s promises. Governor Walker lost re-election
to Evers in 2018. Clearly the deal that was struck
is no longer in play. And so we we will be working
with individuals at Foxconn and of course with WEDC to figure out how a
new set of parameters should be negotiated. Tom Stringer has decades of
experience negotiating big construction deals and says that Foxconn in
Wisconsin just doesn’t make sense. The math would never have pointed to
this being a location in the first place that could have executed
a project of this scope. I mean the numbers just don’t lie. The workforce wasn’t there, the skill
sets aren’t in the U.S. The margins aren’t there to globally
compete unless we wanted to substantially pay more for LCD related products
and I think the market is dictating that we don’t. So it’s trying to find the business
reason, I think that’s something that only Foxconn can answer. So we asked them. Wisconsin possesses an excellent education
system both in our technical colleges and also in our
advanced degree, our universities. And we bring the best in manufacturing
technology to marry with the best in workforce and that’s a recipe
for great success and quality product. But the fact remains that if Foxconn does
follow through it would be a very big deal. It is the first-ever TFT LCD factory
in the United States, the first one ever. This is a major undertaking. To make way for Foxconn’s huge project,
the land and some Mount Pleasant locals have undergone massive change
in the last two years. This pad itself is equivalent
to 17 football fields. If you’re a basketball
fan, 221 basketball courts. This summer we’ll start
the vertical building. The floor itself, the slab that the site
will be on, is a 125,000 cubic yards of concrete and
that’s 12,500 truckloads. The new Wisconn Valley Science and Technology
Park is so big, nearby I-94 is being expanded from
six lanes to eight. And big enough that dozens of people
have been moved so their homes could be leveled to make
way for the project. Things have changed a lot. There was 12 other homes that were
in this neighborhood and they’ve all been torn down. Jim Mahoney grew up in Mount Pleasant
and unlike his neighbors, decided not to take Foxconn’s offer
to buy him out. He’s so set on staying he was planting
trees in the yard when we arrived unannounced. It totally feels like a bad dream. One day I’m the happiest I can be. I got a nice place out in
the county and then five minutes later somebody’s telling me I got
to get out of it. Leslie Maj and her husband bought their
Mount Pleasant home in 2017 with the hope of living in
a quiet rural town. But part of their yard is now
being taken through eminent domain to expand the street leading
to Foxconn’s plant. And I feel Racine County, Mount Pleasant
and the state of Wisconsin got sucker punched. The environmental impact has
been another sticking point. The project was allowed to skirt
environmental regulations with the state of Wisconsin making an exception on
several points including how much water Foxconn can pipe in from nearby
Lake Michigan and how much natural habitat can be impacted. We peaked last summer at 90 parts
air pollution and the EPA standard for acceptable is 70. Now that’s without Foxconn. Our air and our water are important. Our health is important. And we feel like we have
just been railroaded right over. We are expendable. Foxconn insists this is not the case. We’re committed to following all
environmental laws and regulations and we’re committed to being good
stewards of our community. People really have to be able to
look and understand what the benefits are to their area and I think over a
longer period of time people will be on board with the decision to
be in Mount Pleasant. But for now residents we spoke to
remain concerned by a lack of transparency in Foxconn’s plans. I mean I understand Lake Michigan is right
there but I don’t know why they picked right here. This stuff is not supposed
to happen in Mount Pleasant. But Foxconn remains unwavering in
its commitment to Wisconsin. I’ve talked to our corporate and they
have reiterated that we are committed to 13,000 jobs and the
investment in the state. And it’s even set a firm
deadline for beginning production on those American made LCD panels:
fourth quarter of 2020. We’ve met every challenge to date and
we’ll meet every challenge that comes up in the future. So you’re hopeful? I’m very positive about it and it’s exciting
to be a part of it from the ground up literally.

100 comments

  1. Nothing says free market capitalism like paying 307,692.31 in tax dollars for each "promised" low paying job…

  2. Hahahahaha I find it funny because they won’t hire Americans and China will send their own “workers” to work here and become citizens to spy , i mean , live in America .

  3. IF YOU BRING THEM IN YOU INVITE SPYS INTO OUR COUNTRY. OBVIOUSLY THEY HAVE TERRIBLE BUSINESS ACUMEN, AND NOW YOU’LL IN DANGER US .

  4. Tell me where in Wisconsin makes the same thing? ASK YOURSELF WHAT COLLEGE THERE HAS THAT MANY STUDENTS THAT HAS THESE ENGINEERS? Hahahaha fuckjng stupid .

  5. There bringing thousands of jobs I don't see the issue? Pollution is something that needs to happen to bring jobs that's how it is.

  6. isnt paying 4B to a company state subsidy to distort competition for other brands? Isnt this exactly what they are always accusing China of doing?

  7. If you call it the Walmart of something these ranch dressing drinking flyover country hicks will eat it up. Middle America is dying and it is their own fault.

  8. I had to watch it several times! Did anyone do the math on this?! The state would actually save money if it just gave 3000 people $54000 a year for 24 years! Math is fun, $4Billion divided by 3000 workers = 1,333,333.33 repeating, take that number and divide it by the $54,000 a year and you would have 24.69 years or a whole career for most people! Wisconsin you are damn fool if you do this! Tax payers shouldn't have to buy their neighbors jobs! I don't want my tax dollars spent like this!

  9. When I moved to Wisconsin the Foxconn deal ranged from a political frustration to cautious economic optimism. A year later there's a new governor and Foxconn is a punchline for the last failure of the previous Republican administration.

  10. Wtf is made in America? Nothing! America is full of air. When i was there for a brief trip, all i saw was big ass phat black people asking for $. lol

  11. Foxconn should be renamed Con Job. 3,000 jobs for $4 billion works out to $1.3 million per job. Ryan, Walker, Trump and others were/and are still, playing these political games thought out the whole country. This is just one of over 50 super hyped projects to bring millions of manufacturing jobs back to America that is failing. Guess what! China is shipping its own jobs to cheaper labor areas, like Vietnam, Mexico and other less developed countries to save labor costs. Why would they waste money manufacturing in the US? Trump has played the American workers for suckers.

  12. the irony of the whole deal is what get me… the investment and the innovation promised comes from where.. the enemy country of china is whom is being looked to for the investment to jumpstart american manufacturing… americans should remember this.. it wasnt china that started the de industrialization of america… it was the american capitalist who have clearly been beaten at their supposed own game… what an irony.. but its not.. its more proof that the american economy is all about having some other guy do the work so americans can take credit.. lmrcao

  13. Americans always crying lol… what good is your home or land without a job and money to pay ur bills lol… on top of that we are enabling countries like china with our $$$ who want to change our way of life lol… another decade of unchecked China would have been game over for Americans and our precious US Dollar based financial system.

  14. You know what is also in the 4th quarter of 2020 (they want to start prducing panels then)? Presidential elections. If that thing ends up being a big mess and even a fraud (and it looks like it), that might impact elections quite negatively for Trump.

  15. I see they learned from their mistakes and this time went with a flat design instead of those ugly nets. 🤔

  16. America is destroying it self by out sourcing and complaining about there demise, but still is only interested in the dollar even at its own destruction. The only story will be a super power that destroy it self

  17. I wonder how many Americans will commit suicide working with them or will it be different here of course Chinese cam Fox comm actually how to put Nets around the building Maryland who can I suicide

  18. We want jobs but we don't want to work. In other words we just want free money. Now that guy who promised me US$1,000 monthly, I'm voting for him

  19. 13000 jobs and 4 billion in tax relief? Wtf it is 307 thousand per employee ? So what's the benefit and who will get the benefit? Not workers they are losing 4 billion of state money

  20. I94 was planned on being expanded LONG before the Foxconn plant was announced. It just took Wisconsin much longer to do their half (Illinois was the other) because they had to widen 10+ bridges and more all the frontage roads on both sides before they could even start widening the actual road.

  21. Made in usa is hard to implement. Americans complain too much about everything .. Jobs go overseas they complain. Big plants come back, they complain about environmental impact, noise and pollution. What is it that they want?

  22. Guo is not running for president. When this video was made, everything was still in speculation. Bad move, CNBC, by saying it as if it was already set in stone.

  23. I don't understand how Mount Pleasant Wisconsin got this project in the first place. Just take one of the requirements for a facility of this magnitude and technical requirements…..Labor.its NOT there. Are you going to buss the crew in? Americans are not going to live in dormitories on the job site either. There was definitely some back door pay off deals to get this accomplished.

  24. 🦊 CON
    Sly 🦊 CONNED the U.S. to give up our FARM LAND AND WATER RESOURCES…
    Use up and POLLUTE our WATER RESOURCES… 🦊 Trix

  25. Trump has misguided Wisconsin. Wisconsin you are a powerful state that has 10 electoral votes. Vote Yang for president. He is warning about the 4th industrial revolution. check out Yang2020.com Manufacturing jobs will be a thing of the past. It's a blessing that Foxconn may not get all of the $4 billion subsidies for trying to bring back manufacturing jobs. A lot of people in Wisconsin will benefit from a Freedom Dividend Fund of $1,000 per month if Yang becomes our president in 2020.

  26. It’s no coincidence that the meeting was in the White House. Obviously Trump wanted the factory to be in Wisconsin so he could try to trick Wisconsin voters into voting for him again

  27. The idea that foxconn could thrive in America is inherently wrong as they have been working mainly in communist countries and they are used to doing what they want but that's not possible in America

  28. Yes, sure ! We are going to implement comprehensive measures to mitigate against these tragedies by putting nets all around the buildings so that our employees can jump to their content but as far as making their lives better in turns of building better living quarters and shorter working hours, NOT GOING TO HAPPENED!! Because we own these people and they are our slaves to the end!! hahahahaha!!!!!!

  29. Foxconn is good for Wisconsin, but Wisconsin isn't good for Apple. How are you going to produce and ship your product in the winter? Foxconn will not be able to keep up with demand.

  30. the fox con will never be and here why in order to doe this you need to have a referendum they did not witch make it invalid voided

  31. Terry Gou promised a lot and then never kept, does he sounded like the U S politicians and other Western democratic countries' politicians ?

  32. one of my friends works 200 overtime hours per month to develop equipments for production of the next generation LCD panels. now that the American are willing to take the turn, I think he can have a good rest. Good luck US…

  33. All these big manufacturers screw the local tax payers by twisting the arms of local politicians to give them enormous tax rebates so that they pay very little in taxes,and the local economy ends up paying for the infrastructure they need.

  34. FoxConn a name you can trust! Built in 1991 by French national step siblings Conner Le Jdremcrosha and brother “Foxy” Michel’ Takalurland n’DepardU.
    They’d never steal your land, home, pride, dignity all for a promise of a job that would never come and a few chickens plus some give or take 8 dozen Wisconsin Grade A eggs you never said were a gift, so we assumed and took them while pointing at a cloud making you only partially notice being robbed

  35. This docu-series is anti-Trump.
    The Economy is performing at historic levels but this docu-series will focus on the negatives.

    Obama had the Fed on his side. Trump is doing it mostly without the Fed.

  36. That chinese dude refused to pay his own peoples in china…
    Now hes willing to pay 90,000-120,000 dollars per year for one European engineer!! Asians….

  37. So let me get this straight, because of labor cost rise in China, Foxconn is moving factories to US? Wage is higher in US, US workers are known to be lazy, fat, inefficient, like to Unionize which employers don't like, one Chinese is easily the equivalent of three Americans, tell me how that is going to save Foxconn money?

  38. for what, who will work there for what salary level?the same salary as in China?if not, what it will be the price of an iphone, 3000 USD???Its not about plant, its about SALARIES and PRICES!!!!You r joking you mtf, " the eight wonder of the world", whaaaat, ha ha ha, you dumb…..TRUMP, YOU ARE THE EIGHT WONDER OF THIS WORLD!

  39. Will the demand be still there for the products manufactured in USA, where the price will be high. Majority of the countries are price conscious market. Cost increase, demand decrease. Eg Apple.

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