In a win for the Trump administration’s bring-back-the-jobs effort, The Washington Post is reporting that FoxConn plans to build a large, new factory in Wisconsin.
Foxconn is probably the largest electronics manufacturer you’ve never heard of. Based in Taiwan, it reportedly employs more than 1.2 million factory workers around the world. But it doesn’t produce products under its own name; instead, it’s a contract manufacturer, producing goods that will bear such familiar brand names as Apple, Samsung, Intel, Microsoft and Nintendo.
But not so fast. Foxconn has made big announcements before that have never panned out, including plans in 2013 for a $30 million plant in Pennsylvania that has never been built.
If Foxconn does actually build a US plant, it will bring some baggage with it. If you have heard of the company, odds are it’s with respect to the so-called Apple-Foxconn Scandal of 2010 – when working conditions were particularly brutal under pressure to pump out enough iPads and iPhones to keep up with demand. In one two month period, 18 workers tried to jump to their deaths, until the company hung nets from buildings to prevent the initiative.