Foxconn, Wisconsin, President Trump discussed on The Takeaway

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

You're listening to the takeaway. I'm tan Xena Vega And as we just heard, President Trump pledged to do many things when he took office in 2016. And while he's fulfilled some of those promises he's failed on others, and that includes his promise to revive the industrial economies in key battleground states like Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. 2018 Trump promised to bring the Taiwanese company Foxconn to Wisconsin and along with it 13,000 jobs to reinvigorate manufacturing in the region. But today, more than two years later, Foxconn has only hired a few 100 employees, and the factory itself is largely being used as a storage facility. Josh Jessa is investigations editor and feature writer at the verge and he's here with me now, Josh, Thanks so much. You're having me So why did Trump promise Foxconn was coming to Wisconsin? What was his political agenda there? So if you think back to 2017 Trump was making a push to bring back manufacturing to the US, and particularly to rust Belt states like Wisconsin And the Foxconn deal began really right after he took office when Fox hunts founder Terry Go Floats. The idea of a large manufacturing presence in the U. S. And Quo makes these sort of overtures frequently and often nothing comes of them. Factories that you promise is often don't arrive, but Trump administration really ran with this proposal arranged a meeting between glow and Walker that then Governor Scott Walker, who then proceeded to offer the company in enormous subsidy package to build a 13,000 employees 20 million Square foot large panel LCD factory in Wisconsin. Now that has not materialized so far, the 13,000 jobs and everything else what happened there? Why was it Foxconn that failed to deliver on its promise to Wisconsin? There are a couple points of failure here and the main one. The short answer is that The factory. Fox comes proposing never really made commercial sense. There was, AH, glad in the healthy industry that was foreseeable. At the time, the cost of labor would have demolished the thin margins of the industry. There weren't suppliers in Wisconsin that last one would need to be able to run this kind of facility. And lost on leadership. From what I've been able to find was aware of this pretty shortly after the groundbreaking ceremony, if not before, and really started searching around for anything else to do in Wisconsin. And you know that would have been a short story concluded that what had proposed wasn't going to work. But instead, Foxconn and support of politicians, including the Trump Administration, continued to insist that Everything was on track and going well as the company vast lated wildly from plant to plan We keep saying they were 13,000 jobs promised how many jobs have actually materialized, Josh? So very few. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation found that at the end of last year, there were 281 employees eligible under the terms of the contract. At that time I was supposed to have a little over 2000 and it needed about 500 twenty's against subsidies. That number was supposed to increase rapidly is supposed to reach 13,000 by 2022 in Sam's going the wrong direction. I found flocks can lead people off beginning this year shortly after the deadline to receive subsidies past So a small small fraction of what it was supposed to employ. We're going to have to take a quick break, but we'll have more on Foxconn in Wisconsin. What it means for President Trump's legacy coming up on the take.

Coming up next