By Shayndi Raice
Wisconsin's efforts to bring a Foxconn Technology Group plant to the state surmounted a crucial hurdle Wednesday, overcoming recent concerns the deal may be in trouble.
The board of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation approved a contract that would provide a $3 billion incentive package to the Taiwanese firm if it invests $10 billion to create a 20-million square foot campus in Racine County that could ultimately employ up to 13,000 workers.
Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker has argued that the deal would transform the state's economy and is worth the hefty tax breaks. But some of his Democratic opponents in the state legislature have questioned if the price tag is too high. An independent state fiscal analysis found that taxpayers wouldn't recoup their investment until the 2042-43 fiscal year.
The deal looked like it might be in trouble just a few weeks ago, when a vote by the economic development corporation to approve the project was delayed because of what Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter, a board member and opponent of the deal, described the issue as a "nuclear bomb" in the contract.
The plant, which will build liquid-crystal display technology, or LCD screens, was announced with much fanfare by President Donald Trump in a White House ceremony in July as part of the president's efforts to grow manufacturing jobs in America. In September, Gov. Walker signed legislation that approved the large tax-incentive package for Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.
The governor is expected to sign the contract with Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou on Friday in Wisconsin.
Write to Shayndi Raice at [email protected]