Foxconn is a Big Win for Wisconsin

 

The Badgers and Packers won’t be the only ones scoring big wins over Minnesota and Illinois this fall. Foxconn’s announcement that it will invest $10 billion in Wisconsin’s economy and create thousands of new jobs is a big win for Wisconsin and one that we can expect to pay off for years to come. Foxconn could put a high-tech manufacturing plant anywhere, and several bigger states with more people tried to compete for the plant, but ultimately Wisconsin beat the competition.

 

It’s no wonder that Foxconn wants to come to Wisconsin. Just a few years ago, we hung an “open for business” sign at the border and began the hard work of reforming state government. We cut red tape and delivered strong regulatory reform. We slashed taxes and gave back billions in tax relief to the hardworking people of Wisconsin.

 

That work is paying off. This year, Wisconsin was named one of Chief Executive Magazines top ten states to do business, jumping 31 places – 31 places – since 2011. In just a few years, we took Wisconsin from one of the worst states to do business and made it one of the best.

 

Forbes Magazine agrees and moved Wisconsin 26 places forward in projected job growth, saying that Wisconsin’s jobs picture has “dramatically” improved. Forbes projects that over the next five years, household incomes in the state will increase at the eighth fastest rate in the country. Today, more people are working in Wisconsin than ever before and our unemployment rate is the lowest since 1999.

 

Foxconn, Haribo, Fleet Farm and numerous other businesses have recently chose to grow and expand their businesses in Wisconsin, confirming what we’ve known all along, restoring power to taxpayers, smart fiscal management, and delivering bold, pro-business and pro-family reforms is a time-tested recipe for economic success.

 

The next step for the Foxconn deal is for the Legislature to review the initial deal worked out by the Governor. We need to make sure the state’s investment to bring Foxconn here protects state taxpayers and holds Foxconn accountable. The proposal from Governor Walker ties state investment to performance, requiring Foxconn to meet certain goals for jobs and investment before state money is handed out. The agreement also includes “clawback” provisions where the state would be reimbursed if Foxconn doesn’t deliver on their promises. The legislature will carefully review these provisions and others related to the factory’s construction and make sure that this is a great deal for Wisconsin taxpayers and good for Wisconsin as a whole.

 

With thousands of employees, a facility the size of 7,433 average homes, and an estimated $7 billion economic impact every year, Foxconn and its supply chain will benefit business throughout the state. Foxconn has already begun reaching out to Wisconsin industry and academic institutions to create the estimated $1.4 billion Wisconsin supply chain of more than 150 suppliers that the company will need. A Milwaukee company, Rockwell Automation, is already working with Foxconn on technology that will be used in the proposed plant for workforce development and training. Foxconn is also exploring the possibility of a second facility in south-central Wisconsin for partnership with the area’s strong research infrastructure.

 

In addition, Foxconn’s presence in Wisconsin has already opened the door for increased global partnerships. The company has signed agreements with Wisconsin industry, including a memorandum of understanding with the Wisconsin Ginseng Board to help central Wisconsin growers expand sales into overseas markets.

 

These partnerships, along with the high-tech, high-skill, family-supporting jobs that Foxconn is creating, show the world that Wisconsin is ready to lead the way in advanced manufacturing and high-tech jobs growth.

 

So this fall, as you turn your TV off after another Packers or Badgers win, take a moment to celebrate Wisconsin’s wins off the field as well. After all, there’s a good chance your TV screen was manufactured by Foxconn.