Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Foxconn in int'l. dramas; state taxpayers, local governments can only watch

It's like the whole state was enrolled against its will in Trump University.

Because we're seeing again how far in over their heads were Walker and the WEDC he had created as they worked a 'deal' with Foxconn, a far more stable, experienced and sophisticated multi-national corporation.

WI GOP, Foxconn officials digging their own hole
But that's hardly surprising, as the one-note, one-dimensional, always-campaigning Walker went into Foxconn 'negotiations' with unsuccessful international experience and a failed jobs-creating track record.

And the WEDC with a track record of ugly audits, a dizzying, resignation-plagued revolving-door that shuffled CEO's and chief financial officers like a Las Vegas blackjack dealer and allegations of pay-for-play lending.

And such poor administration, decision-making and portfolio management that state legislative Republicans - - let that sink in - - threw Walker out as WEDC chairman, suspended the agency's ability to make new loans - - but humorously left the words "Economic Development: in the agency's title - - and only made WEDC's powers whole again as it was working on the Foxconn deal.

Doesn't check too many confidence-builders' boxes with more than $4 billion in public dollars in play, does it?

Kep that turmoil and instability and minor league 'credentials' in mind when absorbing this international business report on Tuesday about change and successional at Foxconn as its founder and CEO Terry Gou steps down:

Now, the company’s de facto chief financial officer and one of Gou’s closest aides, Huang Chiu-lian, is widely anticipated to succeed him...A 2002 annual report (pdf in Chinese)—the earliest available version on the company website—lists her as one of the shareholders among the three major corporate shareholders of Foxconn. Huang’s husband, You Xiang-fu, is a top general manager at the company.
But Huang is also a mysterious and elusive figure...not listed on the official roster of the company’s management team, but in a 2003 annual report (pdf in Chinese) she is listed as the director of more than 90 Foxconn subsidiaries... 
No one fully understands how these subsidiaries are controlled or how they relate to one another—except Huang and Gou, [an expert], said.
Do you think Walker, desperate for a campaign-winning mega-deal and endless blitz of 'look-at-me' news stories and partisan promos, knew Foxconn was structured with 90 subsidiaries, or nine, before he pitched the deal to the company on a single sheet of paper?

Another international report explains how Gou, now running for President of Taiwan, could leverage advantages for Taiwanese business deals with China - - read: Foxconn - - as the US and China skirmish over international trade, tariffs and international investment.

And, how exactly do the residents living near the bulldozed acreage in the little Village of Mount Pleasant and in neighborhoods across debt-committed Racine County get a seat at that table, let alone credible protection?

Foxconn Technology Group's failure to hit its first Wisconsin hiring target highlights the financial risks Mount Pleasant and Racine County face as they spend money upfront to support Foxconn's stated plans for a massive manufacturing and research complex, a leading credit rating agency said Thursday.
Especially when the Wisconsin GOP Senate Majority Leader and key Foxconn booster blithely says it's OK with him if Foxconn only comes up with half of its fantasy-land pledge of 13,000 jobs.

A complete archive of posts from this blog about Foxconn is here.

The Foxconn apologists continue to say that Wisconsin taxpayers' funds are protected.

In fact, Walker took time away from his various right-wing jobs and tweeted restaurant tours to call the guarantees "iron clad" because under the deal he 'negotiated,' Foxconn gets no per-worker subsidy if the promised jobs are not produced.

But independent analysis has shown that more than $1.5 billion of the $4+ billion public pledge is not jobs'-related, and a lot for sprawl-inducing road-building, is already out the door, the analysis says: 

More than a third of the planned subsidies, such as the state and local infrastructure spending for the project, has little or no tie to job creation.
That's like telling your friends that you 'negotiated' free service on your shiny new Foxconn-assembled iPhone - - but you don't tell them you had to paid a bundle of cash for the phone up front. 


MAL said...

Local governments and citizens can do more than watch.

They can contact and petition Gov Tony Evers to do the sensible thing and oppose the Foxconn contract in state and federal court.

Tony Evers has steadfastly refused to pursue this course of action.

Anonymous said...

Why does it say "your think new Foxconn-assembled iPhone"?

James Rowen said...

To Anon. 2:18 p.m. Thank you for catching that spellcheck garble. It was supposed to read "shiny." I fixed it.