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(MADISON) — Once again, Gov. Tony Evers has cleaned up a mess left by the Walker-Kleefisch administration. This week Gov. Evers announced a deal with tech giant Foxconn and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) regarding the company’s project in Mount Pleasant, saving $2.77 billion in taxpayer dollars and undoing some of the damage caused by the original deal reached by Walker and Kleefisch.

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. Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch 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 dealWhile 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.

State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has falsely claimed that Foxconn was successful in meeting the goals set by Walker and Kleefisch and that the state hasn’t paid any money to the company. Although Wisconsin has not yet given Foxconn any tax subsidies, a state estimate showed the Foxconn project has already cost Wisconsin taxpayers nearly $400 million.

“Governor Evers understands the importance of protecting taxpayer dollars and supporting Wisconsin’s economic development. We’re thankful that his leadership has finally fixed Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch’s disastrous deal with Foxconn,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Nellie Sires. “Gov. Evers has secured an agreement that saves Wisconsin taxpayers billions and will keep the state’s economy moving forward as it recovers from the pandemic. Thanks to the governor’s leadership, Wisconsin is going to bounce back better than it was before.”

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