Taipei--Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??), the world's largest contract electronics maker, is close to choosing Wisconsin as the site for a flat panel factory and its first U.S. investment, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In an interview with WSJ, U.S. President Donald Trump mentioned Hon Hai's investment plan, saying the Taiwanese firm is "strongly considering" building a big plant in Wisconsin.
The newspaper cited sources familiar with the deal as saying that Hon Hai is close to making a decision on whether to build a display panel plant in the state.
International business wires have widely reported that Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn outside Taiwan, is studying the feasibility of building its first LCD (liquid-crystal display) factory in the United States and developing operations in at least three states, and could announce its plans as soon as August.
The seven candidate states for the site are Ohio, Wisconsin, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana, the report said.
The flat panel display plant could create 5,000 jobs on its own, with thousands more following at other facilities the company might launch, the reports said.
According to Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou (???), one of the richest men in Taiwan, the company expects to invest more than US$10 billion in the U.S. over the next five years through its "Flying Eagle" project, which seeks to establish an automated production supply chain in the U.S. market, where many of the firm's major clients are located, including Apple Inc.
In the WSJ report, Trump also said that Apple CEO Tim Cook has promised to build three large-sized plants in the U.S. in response to the President's "America First" policy.
The Associated Press said the potential investment by Hon Hai in Wisconsin has raised concerns among lawmakers and others who are looking at what incentives can be offered to encourage the Taiwanese firm to establish operations.
Republican Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker and the state's economic officials are likely to offer a tax break and subsidies among other incentives to Hon Hai in a bid to sign an investment agreement with the Taiwanese firm.
Michigan, another state which is eying Hon Hai's investment, recently approved a US$200 million annual job-creation tax incentive package in a bid to sweeten its offer to the potential Taiwanese investor, AP said.
Gou was spotted by U.S. media at the White House in late April, apparently to discuss possible investments with U.S. authorities.
White House spokeswoman Natalie Strom confirmed on April 29 that Gou met briefly with Trump at the White House.
The Taiwanese manufacturing giant currently runs a broad production network in China with a workforce of about 1 million. It is also extending its operations in India, where it has embarked on a project to establish 10-12 facilities by 2020.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel