(WISCONSIN) — Since taking office, Trump has repeatedly broken his promises to fight for working Wisconsinites as he has failed to deliver meaningful trade deals, signed a tax scam bill that primarily benefited the rich and well-connected, and has not delivered on projects like Foxconn. Trump touted Foxconn as the “eighth wonder of the world” alongside Scott Walker during the groundbreaking, but little progress has been made on what the president and the company promised to deliver.
KEY POINTS BELOW:
- The Foxconn Technology Group project in Mount Pleasant was billed as an economic game changer for Wisconsin.
- In 2018, President Donald Trump came to the village and, alongside then-Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn founder Terry Gou, literally put a golden shovel in the ground and declared the development would become “the eighth wonder of the world.”
- Two years later, the project has been dramatically scaled back and has failed to hire enough people to win even the first promised job-creation payments from the state.
- And, two weeks from the Nov. 3 election, one of Trump’s signature promises in Wisconsin — part of a pledge to create a boon of manufacturing jobs in the state — is a long way from ever being fulfilled.
- Since the groundbreaking, the project has been downscaled to a Generation 6 factory, which involves smaller, less-advanced screens for smart phones, tablets and TVs.
- And though construction work has continued, Joel Brennan, secretary of the state Department of Administration, said the state does not have a clear understanding of what is planned for the Mount Pleasant site.
- “The ongoing challenge, I think, has been for the state to understand and for Foxconn to be able to articulate exactly what they’re going to be doing in terms of their project,” Brennan said. “There have been challenges to them from a business standpoint, that’s ever evolving, and the marketplace is changing, and the last seven months have certainly have had a material impact on the economy in southeastern Wisconsin… So all of those things have been part of the conversation.
- “But the bottom line of the conversation is that the project that was outlined and was applied for (and) on which the legislation was based three years ago, is no longer the project that they’re engaged in.”
- From the start, the Foxconn project has been tied to the White House.
- Last week, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. found not enough jobs had been created — a position Foxconn disputes — so, for the second year, no state payments would be issued.
- Yet when Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have made campaign stops this year in Wisconsin, a state they won in 2016 by less than 23,000 votes, until Saturday’s visit by Trump to Janesville, there had been no mention of Foxconn.
- “There no manufacturing to speak of going on at that facility right now,” Brennan said. “I don’t know that there is a lot of certainty about what is going on there.”
- “They have done physical work on the buildings that they own in our downtown to build out the space to make it available for work,” Mason said. “But there’s not been much activity when it comes to smart city work in either of those buildings, but that’s consistent with what they told us a year ago.”