Foxconn changes the channel, raising more questions
It was in company executive Louis Woo's discussion of what Foxconn now says it will be doing at the Racine County project:
Questions remain about what kind of product Foxconn would be making. The original plan included large LCD panels for TVs, but that has been changing.
Woo said the exact product is still to be determined: "We are referring to making end devices having the LCD panels as a component. We are still considering if, when and which panel technology to build which will best suit the customers' demands and the state of Wisconsin."Now roll back the clock to 2017 when Walker, Vos, Fitzgerald, Schimel and others had quickly lined up behind handing billions in public subsidies to Foxconn - - but for a specific purpose.
Reported in stories and details like this:
Trump announces that Apple's top supplier, Foxconn, is building a $10 billion TV factory in Wisconsin
The planned Wisconsin factory will make flat-panel LCD screens for televisions and other electronics. Bloomberg previously reported that the screens could be used to make Sharp-branded televisions.Like these:
But suppose the company sought billions in Wisconsin public subsidies but had said it was "still considering if, when and which panel technology to build..."
Because 'questions remain?'
Can you imagine the Legislative Reference Bureau putting together a fiscal note based on something that speculative, or being used by consultants for analyses that were done to support the deal?
Like this glowing report, which, by the way, pointed to 400 jobs projected at a flat screen supplier's facility that was never begun because the Walker administration, having already over-committed to Foxconn, couldn't gin up the enthusiasm, let alone the cash for another handout.
And when Foxconn didn't take Walker up on the idea that it should pay for locating its own supplier nearby, we all should have understood that the great unwinding or whatever it is that is happening now had begun.
And certainly this May, 2018 blog post contained all sorts of information about changes Foxconn was anticipating back then and which are contributing to the 'if, when and which...'.
Additional questions linked to that "if, when and which panel technology" issue should be also be asked of the DNR because it approved a Lake Michigan daily diversion of about seven million gallons to service a flat-panel TV screen plant.
Have the need and demand for water now changed? Has the level and type of discharge changed, too?
Same questions about the air permits the DNR had similarly greenlit. See this post for information about both the air and water approvals.
Same questions about the grant of tax-free status to the company.
And the special highway construction begun when the company was going to be assemble and ship big-screen TVs.
We're nowhere near the end of this story, let alone understanding its true beginning.
I have maintained and updated an archive on this blog about the Foxconn deal since its announcement. Here is a link to that archive to which this post has been added.