President Donald Trump is set to make a big jobs announcement Wednesday afternoon at the White House.
He’s expected to appear with Foxconn CEO Terry Gou to announce a new factory in Wisconsin that will make liquid-crystal displays, or the screens that eventually get turned into flat-screen TVs, according to reports from The Associated Press, CNBC, and Bloomberg.
Foxconn is best known as Apple’s primary manufacturing partner, and it assembles products like the iPhone. Apple spent $75 billion with Foxconn in 2016.
Foxconn does most of its manufacturing in Asia, though it has facilities in Brazil, India, and other countries. This factory would be its first major manufacturing facility in the United States. (In 2013, it announced plans for a plant in Pennsylvania, but it never was built.)
The factory will receive a $10 billion investment from Foxconn and employ 3,000 people at first, expanding over two and a half years, White House officials said on Wednesday.
It’s unclear whether the expected announcement of a Wisconsin factory means other states vying for the plant did not receive a Foxconn contract. Foxconn is expected to announce additional plants as well.
- Win McNamee/Getty Images
Michigan’s economic development corporation has been aggressively competing for the plant. On May 10, it signed a confidentiality agreement to negotiate for “Flying Eagle,” which is what Foxconn has called the project, according to files seen by Business Insider.
Foxconn officials have also mentioned Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and Texas as states where Foxconn may like to do manufacturing.
Win for Wisconsin Republicans
The plant will be in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s district, according to reports, which would be a big win for the Republican leader.
On Wednesday morning, he tweeted a link to the planned announcement:
— Paul Ryan (@PRyan) July 26, 2017
Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, also tweeted about a “major jobs announcement for Wisconsin” on Wednesday. His staff was involved with the negotiations with Foxconn, according to Bloomberg.
It has been a team effort, with the White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and the White House Office of American Innovation, led by senior adviser Jared Kushner, pitching in to help secure the plant, according to reports. Trump campaigned for the presidency on a promise to add manufacturing jobs, and the White House is likely to tout the Foxconn deal as a major victory.
Wisconsin most likely offered Foxconn a major incentives package with tax relief and other benefits to secure the plant, although the details of the “sweetener” package are not public. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported that some experts believe it could total as much as $3 billion.
Big, beautiful plants
Foxconn is best known for working with Apple, but it’s unclear whether “Flying Eagle” will produce components for Apple products.
The LCDs produced by the plant will most likely end up in Sharp-branded TVs, Bloomberg previously reported.
Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that Apple CEO Tim Cook had agreed to build “three big plants – big, big, big.”
“I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success,” Trump told The Journal. “He called me, and he said they are going forward.”
During the presidential campaign, Trump called for Apple to build its computers in the United States, though most Apple products are assembled in China.
Foxconn is not Apple, though; Apple is just one of Foxconn’s many customers.
Apple declined to comment on Trump’s remarks, on where or when the plants were planned for, or on whether the Foxconn announcement was related to Apple.