NPR新闻:Wisconsin Hopes Foxconn Will Make It A Digital Hub, But Skepticism Abounds



President Trump is going to be in Wisconsin today to attend the groundbreaking for a giant new Foxconn factory. This is the Taiwan-based firm that is Apple's biggest supplier. They make screens for iPhones. Foxconn has said it will bring some 13,000 jobs to Wisconsin. Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Lots of cities and towns want to become the next Silicon Valley. Wisconsin hopes the $10 billion Foxconn plant will be its chance. Tim Sheehy heads the Metro Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce.

TIMOTHY SHEEHY: This will be an investment by the fourth largest technology company - making the largest foreign direct investment in U.S. History.

ZARROLI: To President Trump, the plant is a visible sign of the manufacturing revival he envisions. Here he was last August.


PRESIDENT Donald Trump: You saw last week - Foxconn. They make the Apple iPhones. They make all of the - desktop. They make - they're the biggest in the world. They're coming into Wisconsin with an unbelievable plant.

ZARROLI: But it wasn't just rising business confidence that lured Foxconn to Wisconsin. State and local officials offered nearly $4 billion in incentives to the company. Gordon Hintz is the Democratic leader of the state Assembly.

GORDON HINTZ: It's the largest taxpayer subsidy of a foreign corporation in U.S. History by a state, and I think a lot of people in Wisconsin are skeptical about this kind of economic development in general.

ZARROLI: Hintz says it will take many years before the state's investment pays off, and serious questions exist about how many jobs will be created. Foxconn has made similar jobs promises in places such as Brazil that didn't pan out. A recent Marquette Law School poll indicated that most voters, even among Republicans, are skeptical about the plan. That's a perception that Governor Scott Walker is hoping to change. Walker is running for re-election and battling CRIticism that the state's growth has lagged. Last year, he went on Fox Business News to sell the Foxconn plant.


SCOTT WALKER: Absolutely it's worth it. This is transformational. These LCD displays will be made in America for the very first time right here in the state of Wisconsin.

ZARROLI: Today Walker will stand alongside President Trump at the groundbreaking. The meeting could be awkward. The state is home to the beloved company Harley-Davidson, and Walker even rode a Harley during his brief campaign for president in 2016.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is touring New Hampshire today by motorcycle - on his Harley-Davidson right there.

ZARROLI: This week Trump threatened Harley-Davidson. He did so after the company announced it was shifting some production overseas because of Trump's escalating trade battles with Europe. Again, Assembly leader Hintz.

HINTZ: My hope is that Governor Walker will talk to, you know, President Trump and tell him that his, you know, overall economic policy is having a destructive effect on Wisconsin industries.

ZARROLI: But on a day when both Walker and Trump are eager to celebrate an economic victory, whatever differences exist between them are unlikely to be made public. Jim Zarroli, NPR News.


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