(WWJ/AP) Michigan was among seven states competing for the $10 billion Foxconn factory that President Donald Trump announced would be located in Wisconsin. It was a grand slam win for the state next door, and a loss for the Mitten.
Gov. Rick Snyder signed the “good jobs” legislation in Rochester Hills Wednesday, but many wondered if it was too little, too late to draw the kind of development Wisconsin is celebrating today.
The good jobs legislation is designed to attract large employers to Michigan by allowing them to keep some or all of the state income tax paid by their employees if the company meets certain criteria. They must create at least 250 new jobs, pay salaries that are 125 percent or more of the region’s average wage
Though the legislation did not lure Foxconn to the state, Snyder said there’s still hope for Foxconn in Michigan. “Foxconn is actively looking for multiple projects … Michigan has generally been listed and reviewed as one of the leading contenders,” Snyder said.
Others added Foxconn has looked at sites in Oakland County.
WWJ’s Tim Skubick said there were questions swirling around Lansing about whether Michigan could have done more to get the company here.
One of the potential factors: Snyder has no relationship with Trump and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker does.
“Mr. Trump likes to reward those who back him, so was this a factor?” Skubick asked. “Mr. Snyder never endorsed in the race for president.”
Skubuck added the Michigan House Republican Speaker scrubbed the vote on a tax incentive the governor wanted to lure the company here. “Did that delay play a role in Michigan losing out? All very good questions,” Skubick said.
Per the AP, The decision to build the plant in Wisconsin also stemmed from $3 billion in state economic incentives over 15 years if Foxconn invests $10 billion in the state and ultimately adds 13,000 jobs. The incentives would only be awarded if Foxconn creates the jobs and pays an average salary of nearly $54,000.
The Wisconsin factory, scheduled to be open by 2020, would be massive. The campus dubbed “Wisconn Valley,” would cover nearly 1.6 square miles and be three times the size of the Pentagon.
Foxconn’s plant will produce liquid-crystal display panels, or LCDs, that are used in televisions and computer screens. The factory will be located in the congressional district of House Speaker Paul Ryan. It would mark a substantial gain for a state that currently has 472,000 manufacturing jobs and is still recovering from factory layoffs — including the closure of a General Motors plant in Ryan’s hometown — that hit after the 2008 financial crisis.
Taiwan-based Foxconn is perhaps best known for assembling Apple iPhones in China. The company noted in a statement that having the Wisconsin factory would help it better serve the major U.S. technology companies that are its clients.
Inside the White House, discussions with Foxconn about opening a U.S. plant were led over several months by Jared Kushner, a senior adviser and the president’s son-in-law, and Reed Cordish, an assistant to the president on technology initiatives. The president had met personally with Gou, who on Wednesday complimented Trump’s leadership at the event by saying, “Mr. President, the eagle flies.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)