President Donald Trump’s widely touted deal to bring more manufacturing jobs to Wisconsin looks like it’s on the verge of falling apart.
A new Reuters report claims that Foxconn, which has received billions of dollars in incentives to open a plant in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, is now reconsidering its original plans to manufacture LCD panels in the United States.
In fact, Foxconn has now said that it “intends to hire mostly engineers and researchers rather than the manufacturing workforce the project originally promised.”
One Foxconn representative told Reuters that the company simply couldn’t afford to pay American workers living wages to manufacture panels.
“In terms of TV, we have no place in the U.S.,” he told the news agency. “We can’t compete.”
Rather than employ the tens of thousands of blue-collar manufacturing workers that Trump had promised when he boasted about the deal at a 2017 White House ceremony, Foxconn is now planning a “technology hub” that will employ a workforce filled with people who have college degrees.
And Foxconn has also walked back its total hiring ambitions: Even though it had projected its plant would hire 5,200 people by the end of 2020, a company source tells Reuters that number now looks closer to just 1,000 workers.