July 26, 2021

Contact: WisDems Communications (press@wisdems.org)


Fourth Anniversary of Walker-Kleefisch Administration’s Failed Foxconn Deal

MADISON, Wis. — Today is the fourth anniversary of Scott Walker and likely GOP gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch’s disastrous deal with tech giant Foxconn. Earlier this year, Governor Evers cleaned up the mess left by the Walker-Kleefisch administration, announcing a renegotiated deal with the company, saving $2.77 billion in taxpayer dollars, and undoing some of the damage caused by the original agreement.


“Rebecca Kleefisch and Scott Walker negotiated a horrendous deal for Wisconsin taxpayers, then lied to them about the cost. They failed on this deal, and they failed the people of Wisconsin,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Kayla Anderson. “Governor Evers understands the importance of protecting taxpayer dollars and supporting Wisconsin’s economic development. We’re thankful that his leadership has fixed Walker and Kleefisch’s disastrous deal with Foxconn.”


When it was first signed by the Walker-Kleefisch administration, the Foxconn deal was the “the largest government handout to a foreign company ever given in America.” This expensive project, which the Republican administration said would cost $3 billion, alarmed experts on the left and the right, who did not think the state would be able to recoup its investment. Kleefisch played a key role in negotiations, and called the deal “transformational.” Indeed it was – the Walker-Kleefisch administration failed to deliver on its promises, proving disastrous for Wisconsinites:


  • The Walker-Kleefisch administration misled the public about the price of the deal. While they initially said the deal would cost $3 billion, a nonpartisan analysis found months later that the Foxconn plant would actually cost the public up to $4.5 billion – nearly 50 percent more than the original figure. Even by conservative estimates, the project was estimated to cost $1,774 per household in Wisconsin.
  • The manufacturing campus was never built even though localities spent millions on land for the project. Three years after the deal was struck, the promised 20-million-square-foot manufacturing campus never materialized, but state and local governments had spent as much as $400 million on the project, “largely on land and infrastructure Foxconn will likely never need.”
  • Foxconn fell far short of its jobs promises. Under the deal, the company’s goal was to have 2,080 full-time jobs by the end of 2019, but, even after it engaged in last-minute hiring gimmicks, Foxconn only reached 13 percent of its jobs goal.
  • The Walker-Kleefisch deal hindered economic growth. A 2020 study by the Mercatus Center, a free market think tank funded by the Koch brothers, found that the Foxconn deal will be bad for economic growth. The study concluded that if the state pays the company the heavy government subsidies it agreed upon, it would come at a cost of $20 billion in growth in Wisconsin.
  • Republicans’ deal wasted millions in taxpayer dollars. Although Wisconsin has not yet given Foxconn any tax subsidies, a state estimate showed Walker and Kleefisch’s Foxconn project has already cost Wisconsin taxpayers nearly $400 million.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email