The Taiwanese company was offered $4bn in tax credits for a factory that might never materialize
In 2017, Donald Trump and Wisconsin’s then governor, Scott Walker, broke out the champagne and announced that they had lured the Taiwanese company Foxconn into building a $10bn factory in Wisconsin. It was supposed to be proof that the Trump administration was revitalizing America’s manufacturing industry. The catch was that the people of Wisconsin had to give Foxconn $4bn in tax credits – losing revenue that could have gone to fixing roads, funding schools, or fighting the opioid crisis.
Wisconsinites knew this was a boondoggle, the outcome of state government leadership captured by corporate interests. At the time of the agreement, I was campaigning to take on the then House speaker, Paul Ryan, for his congressional seat. I was knocking doors every day, talking to people throughout the south-eastern Wisconsin district; few believed that tossing taxpayer dollars at Foxconn would create family-sustaining manufacturing jobs and lead to a more prosperous future. It turns out they were right to be suspicious. They voted Scott Walker out of office and two years later, Foxconn is set to renege on its deal – and could leave Wisconsinites on the hook for much of the bill.
This isn’t the first time Foxconn has made big promises and not delivered. In 2013, Foxconn announced a $30 million high-tech factory in Pennsylvania that would create 500 jobs, but it never happened. Similar plans in China and Brazil never materialized.
But it’s not just about Foxconn. The Foxconn debacle in Wisconsin is part of a growing trend of massive giveaways by federal, state and local governments to large, multinational corporations without any guarantee of payoff. In New York, elected leaders are throwing $1.5bn at Amazon to build a new campus in Queens. The giveaway has been broadly condemned by workers and community leaders. In New Jersey, a recent audit of the state’s Economic Development Authority found that the state had given away $11bn to big business with no provable economic benefit to show for it.
In Wisconsin, Walker claimed we couldn’t afford to fix our roads and bridges for our families’ use, but had money to expand the expressway from the airport to Mt Pleasant in order to accommodate Foxconn’s automated trucks that may now never come. Foxconn and their enabler Walker promised 13,000 jobs; fewer than 260 people were hired in 2018.
I’m an ironworker who dedicated years to building my community. I ran for office because I could see that people like me are working hard but have less and less to show as a result of our labor. Meanwhile, corporations like Foxconn and Amazon are getting huge taxpayer subsidies for the promise of jobs that often never materialize. We need to invest in a Green New Deal to create millions of good-paying green jobs and bring our infrastructure into the 21st century.
The 2018 election showed the hunger American voters have for leaders who work on behalf of their constituents, not their deep-pocketed donors. This new class of leaders are advocating for real investment in both remediating America’s infrastructure needs as well as promoting innovative programs like the Green New Deal to create good jobs to improve our country while addressing global warming and climate change. My organization, the Working Families party, and members of our movement across the country are demanding that kind of leadership, and are working in communities across the county to hold elected officials accountable and working for the people first.
Taken From https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/31/what-happened-to-foxconns-plan-to-build-a-10bn-factory-in-wisconsin?link_id=3&can_id=f68f35b07af01759aae4a64dc2cbea0e&source=email-the-foxconn-scam-2&email_referrer=email_487321&email_subject=the-foxconn-scam