Foxconn Technology Group (富士康) executives on Wednesday met with Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, legislative leaders and others, but no one is saying much about what they discussed.
Foxconn, the world’s leading electronics manufacturer, has been under the spotlight in Wisconsin ever since striking a deal in 2017 to build a flat-screen display panel plant heralded by US President Donald Trump as the “eighth wonder of the world.”
Buoyed by the firm’s promise that the facility would employ up to 13,000 people, then-Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and fellow Republicans who controlled the state legislature approved the largest incentives for a foreign company in US history — a package that could provide the Taiwan-based conglomerate, known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) in Taiwan, with about US$4 billion in state and local tax credits over 15 years.
Foxconn has since said it would build a smaller plant in Mount Pleasant than originally planned, prompting Evers, a Democrat, to question whether the incentives need to be renegotiated.
Foxconn officials on Wednesday met with Evers and separately with Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.
Vos and Fitzgerald said in messages on Twitter that they got an update on the company’s plans, but did not elaborate.
Fitzgerald tweeted that he looked forward to working with Foxconn “well into the future.”
Foxconn officials in Wisconsin for the meetings were chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉), vice chairman Jay Lee (李傑) and Alan Yeung (楊兆倫), who is Foxconn’s US strategist.
Evers’ spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, said that he wants to build a relationship with Liu, who took over as chairman this summer after former chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) decided to run for president. Gou lost in the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) primary.
Baldauff did not return messages seeking details of the discussion.
Foxconn issued a statement saying only that Liu was meeting with Evers, state and local officials, and members of Wisconsin’s higher education community.
University of Wisconsin-Madison spokesman John Lucas said that Liu on Wednesday participated in an “introductory meeting” with university officials about “future partnership opportunities” on Wednesday.
He declined to elaborate.
Foxconn announced a partnership with the university last year, pledging to provide a matching gift of up to a US$100 million to help fund a new building for the College of Engineering.
It is unclear if any progress has been made on that deal.