Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn CEO and Chairman Terry Gou signed off on the Foxconn contract today, with Walker saying the company’s planned $10 billion investment is “a big win” for the state’s residents.
The contract’s signing at S.C. Johnson & Son in Racine comes exactly 28 weeks after Wisconsin officials met with Gou at the White House at the end of April.
Walker touted the deal as “a big win for everybody living in the state of Wisconsin.”
“We’re just getting started, because we’re going to take the world over when it comes to high tech technology,” Walker said.
Walker, joined by Gou, SC Johnson CEO Fisk Johnson, House Speaker Paul Ryan and a White House representative, also applauded President Trump’s involvement on the deal, saying “whether you agree or disagree with the politics of the president, this would not have happened without him.”
And Gou highlighted the state’s strengths, saying he believes “we have found the right place to create” an ecosystem that combines 8K video with next generation wireless technology — including a 32 million-square-foot campus, around the size of 15 Lambeau Fields.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Board on Wednesday approved the Foxconn staff review on an 8-2 vote, clearing the way for contract signing.
Under the contract, a draft of which was released to the public on Wednesday afternoon, more detailed job creation benchmarks would need to be hit in order for Foxconn to get the full $2.85 billion in state tax credits, as well as a provision that would make Gou personally responsible if the Taiwanese manufacturer fell short of some promises.
Meanwhile, Ryan and Reed Cordish, the Trump administration rep, emphasized the significance of the deal — for the state and nation.
Cordish called the signing “a milestone event,” saying the arrangement was “about returning manufacturing strength and ingenuity to where it should be.”
And Ryan, R-Janesville, said Foxconn coming to Wisconsin represented a “big turning point” for the state, adding it would ensure future generations can live and work in the state.
“Ever heard the term brain drain?” Ryan said. “This reverses brain drain.”
Democrats, though, blasted the deal and Walker, with Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling saying the guv’s “Hail Mary re-election gimmick” falls short.
“Wisconsin families want leaders to prioritize local schools, roads, and jobs before sending billions of our tax dollars to a foreign corporation with a reputation for failing to deliver on job promises,” she said.
See the contract: