President Trump has high hopes for Foxconn’s new plant in suburban Milwaukee. Speaking today at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, he called it “the eighth wonder of the world.”
For all the money it’s costing Wisconsin, Foxconn’s new plant should indeed be wondrous. Foxconn won nearly $4.8 billion in tax breaks and incentives in exchange for agreeing to build the new facility on Wisconsin soil.
Foxconn has said the new plant will create 13,000 new jobs. That comes out to a cost to Wisconsinites of about $370,000 per job. But with an unemployment rate already at just 2.8%, it’s unclear if Wisconsin has the bodies to fill the jobs.
Trump has already claimed credit for bringing the new facility to Wisconsin, and is playing it as an example of a broader return of industry to the United States.
“These are sophisticated businesspeople,” Trump said of Foxconn. “They build a product and they send it in . . . this is beautiful.” He also pointed out that Foxconn will be using American-made concrete and American-made steel in the construction of the new facility.
Taiwan-based Foxconn is the the largest contract electronics manufacturer in the world, and the main manufacturer of Apple’s iPhone.
Trump is speaking about Apple in friendlier terms these days after bashing the company for having its products assembled at Foxconn in China. “Apple is spending something like $350 billion on plants and on building an incredible campus,” he said. “I’m sure [Foxconn founder and chairman Terry Gou] is very happy about that.”
In his rambling speech, the president veered from the necessity of his tariffs (“The smart people love it but some people don’t understand it”), to his love for China, to the disaster of Obamacare, to the beauty of his tax cuts, to his anger at Harley-Davidson for deciding to make its bikes overseas.
“I want to wish you good luck and congratulations on the eighth wonder of the world,” Trump said, concluding his remarks. “Can we say it’s eighth wonder of the world? I think we can say that it’s the eighth wonder of the world.”