President Trump on Wednesday unveiled a $10 billion investment in Wisconsin by Foxconn, an electronics manufacturer, that he said would create 13,000 jobs in the Badger State.
Foxconn manufactures a range of electronics for companies that contract its services, often relying on overseas factories to supply corporations like Apple with products. A White House official said the Wisconsin plant will produce liquid crystal display panels, which companies use in products from cell phone screens to televisions. The official said the Foxconn deal "has the potential over time to grow to as many as 13,000 jobs."
Trump has frequently turned to the healthy direction the country's jobs numbers have taken since his election, particularly when dismissing criticism from opponents who say his administration has accomplished little in its first six months. In addition to slashing regulations he views as burdensome to the economy, Trump has dedicated significant attention to his job creation plans, including by hosting events that promote apprenticeships, launching a "Hire American, Buy American" campaign and delivering speeches focused on technological innovations.
"When this investment is complete, Foxconn has the potential to create more manufacturing jobs than we've seen in many, many decades," Trump said.
"Foxconn joins a growing list of industry leaders who understand that America's capabilities are limitless and that our workers are unmatched," Trump added. "There is nobody like the American worker." Gov. Scott Walker spoke Wednesday at the White House about the work his team, the administration and Foxconn executives had done over the past few months in their efforts to strike a deal that would bring Foxconn to Wisconsin. The White House said Foxconn considered other states before selecting Wisconsin as the site of its U.S. factory.
A senior administration official said the announcement Wednesday was the "culmination of many months of discussion" between the White House and Foxconn and had come about as a result of "numerous meetings here at the White House."
While the official said the administration created no new federal programs to incentivize Foxconn to open operations in Wisconsin, he said the company decided to invest in the U.S. due to Trump's pro-growth agenda.
"What Foxconn believes in, and what led them to make this commitment, is the policies of the Trump administration, from deregulation policies that have been put into place already, to the 'Buy American' principles and commitment of the administration, to the commitment to pass major tax reform and infrastructure spending and investment," the official said.
A White House official said chief of staff Reince Priebus, a Wisconsinite, was highly involved in negotiating the deal, as was Jared Kushner. The president's son-in-law and senior adviser heads the Office of American Innovation, which facilitated talks with Foxconn, the official said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who attended Trump's announcement event at the White House on Wednesday, was also "incredibly helpful" in securing Foxconn's investment, the White House official said. Ryan is a Wisconsin Republican.
Trump has already found success pushing specific companies to expand their manufacturing operations in the U.S. Shortly after he won the election in November, Trump touted a deal he negotiated with Carrier, an air conditioning company with plants in Indiana, to spare thousands of American jobs by canceling a planned move to Mexico. Although Carrier has laid off some workers in the months since Trump visited the Indianapolis plant, the deal was one of the first achievements Trump notched as president-elect.