Wisconsin Legislature to approve $3B incentive for Foxconn

The deal to develop a massive Foxconn plant in Wisconsin will be virtually complete Thursday when the state Legislature votes to approve a $3 billion incentive package to lure the Taiwan-based electronics giant to the state — the biggest state subsidy to a foreign company in U.S. history.

The bill would make $2.85 billion available to Foxconn Technology Group in cash payments if it invests $10 billion and hires 13,000 workers. The Senate approved the proposal Tuesday. Final sign-off by the Assembly, which already green-lighted a nearly identical version in August, would send the measure to the project’s lead champion, Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Walker is this week on a trade mission to Japan and South Korea. He told reporters Wednesday that he looked forward to signing the bill and that the project had been a topic of much discussion with the government and business leaders he has met while traveling in Asia.

“It’s had the desired effect of putting us on the map globally,” Walker said of Foxconn.

Foxconn is the largest contract manufacturer of electronics, best known for making iPhones, but with a long list of customers including Sony Corp., Dell Inc. and BlackBerry Ltd. The Wisconsin plant would construct liquid crystal display panels for televisions, computers and other uses.

The total incentive package is 10 times larger than anything ever approved in Wisconsin and would be the biggest state subsidy to a foreign company in the United States.

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