Foxconn’s Deal With Wisconsin Should Be Revised, Gov. Tony Evers Says

Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin is dubious that Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics giant known for making iPhones, will fulfill its promise of creating 13,000 jobs at a planned plant in the state. So he wants a redo of the contract.

“I think at this point in time that would be an unreal expectation when they’re downsizing the footprint of what they’re doing,” Mr. Evers told reporters at his office in Madison on Wednesday.

The project, once championed by President Trump as evidence of a manufacturing renewal, has been mired in mixed signals. Mr. Evers wants to revisit the arrangement that Foxconn made with the state in 2017 and “figure out how a new set of parameters should be negotiated,” according to a transcript of his statements.

The deal initially envisioned the company making display screens for televisions and other electronics at a $10 billion facility, with the state offering $4 billion in tax credits and other inducements over 15 years. The agreement was drafted under Scott Walker, the Republican governor whom Mr. Evers, a Democrat, replaced.

Earlier this year, Foxconn said it was rethinking its plans, citing “new realities” in the market. Even before then, the company had hinted that its Wisconsin project would focus more on research and development, rather than on the intensive factory work that tends to generate blue-collar jobs.

Foxconn said at the time that it would hold to its pledge to create 13,000 jobs, telling The New York Times that 25 percent of its Wisconsin employees would be focused on manufacturing. Soon after, following a conversation between Mr. Trump and Terry Gou, Foxconn’s billionaire founder, the company said it still intended to build a plant to produce displays for consumer products.

Mr. Gou announced plans on Wednesday to run for Taiwan’s presidency. Mr. Trump has praised his business acumen, calling him “one of the great businessmen of our time.” His company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The present contract deals with a situation that no longer exists, so it’s our goal to make sure that the taxpayers are protected and environmental standards are protected,” Mr. Evers said. “And we believe we need to take a look at that contract and see if it needs to be downsized as a result.”

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