Sunday, August 6, 2017

Foxconn eyes MI as high-tech development site

Chinese media and The Detroit News are reporting that Tawian-based Foxconn is eyeing a Michigan investment in driverless car, artificial intelligence and other high-tech fields.

As they say across the lake, Michigan is leading the way in driverless car tech.

So it's a mixed-news story for Wisconsin.

The good news for Wisconsin as it considers helping land a massive Foxconn factory in Kenosha or Racine County and perhaps a smaller R&D facility in Dane County is that the company so far prefers the Great Lakes region where jobs are definitely needed.

Experts have been saying for years and making their case in Wisconsin that the Great Lakes region has, despite legacy socio-economic challenges, all the requisite tools for a comeback

But it's worth asking in light of the Michigan-focused reports if states will be played off each other for Foxconn investments, and if Wisconsin is overpaying with its $3 billion incentive and water-rule bending package while Michigan has pledged $200 million, and whether artificial intelligence and driverless car technology have more lasting growth potential than flat screen television and other LCD panel manufacturing.

News for thought, including these lines from The South China Post, knowing about the close ties both Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker and Michigan GOP Gov. Rick Snyder have to the Tea Party and purported small government/free market philosophies:  
With tax incentives and subsidies by US states desperate for Foxconn’s investments, setting up plants in America may turn out to be cheaper than producing in China, where manufacturing is increasingly hobbled by rising wages and scarcity of trained labour.

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