By Natasha Bach
August 2, 2017

Foxconn’s plan to invest $10 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations has reportedly ballooned.

In fact, it has tripled, according to President Trump. During a White House event for small businesses, Trump said he was told “off the record” by Foxconn chairman Terry Gou that the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer would increase its $10 billion pledge for a plant in Wisconsin to $30 billion.

“He told me off the record he thinks he may go $30 billion. Think of this. He may go 30-billion-dollar investment, but he told me that off the record so I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone,” Trump told the audience.

Foxconn, which helps manufacture iPhones for Apple, has said its new factory will create 3,000 new jobs with the potential to grow to 13,000, as well as generate 22,000 ancillary jobs and 10,000 construction jobs. The state of Wisconsin would also offer $3 billion in tax breaks. The move is seen as a win for Trump’s “America First” effort to bring jobs back to the U.S.

However, Foxconn has previously promised to invest in new facilities in the U.S. and elsewhere and has not followed through on its commitments.

Meanwhile, activists attacked Wisconsin’s deal with Foxconn, decrying the state’s plan to waive environmental reviews of the manufacturers’ plans. Environmental groups reportedly argued that the proposal could allow for the destruction of state wetlands.

Tom Evenson, spokesman for Gov. Walker (R-Wis.) replied to the allegations on Twitter, arguing that job creation and environmental protection were not incompatible. However, the draft bill would allow Foxconn to offload some material into wetlands and connect artificial bodies of water with natural waterways without state permits.

A private special session is taking place amongst Wisconsin lawmakers to discuss the bill, with a public hearing scheduled for Thursday.

 

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