Foxconn boondoggle continues as company puts property in Green Bay, Wisconsin, up for sale

Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Terry Gou

Foxconn, the Taiwan-based multinational electronics manufacturing company, confirmed on Tuesday that it’s putting up for sale a property it purchased in downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin, marking the latest broken promise connected with a deal the company made with Republican lawmakers that was supposed to bring thousands of jobs to the state.

The Green Bay property Foxconn purchased in 2018 was part of a massive agreement the company made with Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans in the Legislature to create 13,000 jobs in the state in exchange for billions of dollars in tax breaks.

Yet more than five years later, only a small fraction of the 13,000 promised jobs have come to Wisconsin.

The company claimed it was going to hire 200 people for a so-called “innovation center” at the Green Bay location, one of a few such centers it said it planned to build across Wisconsin. But Foxconn never followed through on the promise, and has now listed the property for sale for $9.75 million, according to Green Bay Fox News affiliate WLUK.

“Wherever you will go in Wisconsin, we wish to become a part of the local community. I’m looking forward to the many partnerships and opportunities that will be coming to Green Bay,” Foxconn CEO Terry Gou said in 2018 at an event announcing its purchase of the property.

Aside from the Green Bay innovation center, Foxconn said it was going to build a massive manufacturing plant in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, to make flat-screen TVs.

Republicans took credit for the deal.

At an event at the White House, former President Donald Trump said: “To make such an incredible investment, Chairman Gou put his faith and confidence in the future of the American economy. In other words, if I didn’t get elected, he definitely would not be spending $10 billion.”

Trump later said at a groundbreaking for the Mount Pleasant plant that it would soon become the “8th wonder of the world.”

Walker also praised Trump for helping him ink the deal, saying at a June 2018 White House event, “Foxconn would not be in America if not for you.”

But the plan quickly fell apart.

CNBC reported in 2021 that the plan to build a 20-million-square-foot manufacturing plant for televisions ran into issues because the suppliers who make components of the flat-screen TVs were nowhere close to the planned Wisconsin plant.

Foxconn never built the plant, and instead built a building 1/20th the size, according to the tech outlet the Verge.

Ultimately, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in March, it’s unclear whether anything has actually been manufactured at the scaled-back Mount Pleasant plant. And the number of jobs the company has promised to bring to Wisconsin shrank from 13,000 to “over 1,000,” a Foxconn spokesperson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in December.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.