New York, Aug. 17 (CNA) The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Assembly approved Thursday a bill to grant a US$3 billion tax break to a flat panel project proposed by Taiwan-based manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??), also known as Foxconn in the global market.
The bill was approved 59-30 by the Assembly, with three Democrats joining 56 Republicans to vote in favor of the incentive package. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker hailed the approval as bringing one step closer the important investment project, which has been valued at US$10 billion.
The bill still needs to be approved by the joint finance committee, which is comprised of members from both the Assembly and state Senate before the governor signs it.
"We are ready to take advantage of this historic opportunity and build a long-lasting relationship with Foxconn," Walker said.
Although the joint finance committee has not decided when it will vote on the tax break bill, leaders from the majority party anticipate the vote will take place before Sept. 30.
The US$3 billion bill, if approved by the joint committee, will be the largest tax break Wisconsin has ever granted a foreign business investment.
Meanwhile, Good Jobs First, a research group in Washington, said the Wisconsin tax break will be the fourth largest business incentive package ever awarded in the U.S.
On July 26, Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou (???), accompanied by top U.S. government officials, including President Donald Trump, announced that the company plans to invest US$10 billion building an advanced flat panel plant in Wisconsin to rollout 8K ultra high-definition and advanced 5G operations as a foundation for future industrial development.
Gou and Walker signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the investment deal one day later.
Hon Hai's investment plan in the U.S. market was proposed in response to Trump's "America First" policy. Hon Hai has dubbed its U.S. investment the "Flying Eagle" project.
The Wisconsin investment plan is expected to create about 3,000 jobs in its initial stage and boost the number of new jobs to 13,000 with an estimated average annual salary of US$53,875, over a period of up to six years.
The size of the tax break for Hon Hai has sparked debate in Wisconsin, but Walker defended the incentive package, saying the presence of Hon Hai will help the state attract more investment and high-tech talent, bringing tremendous benefits in its wake.
Trump said the Wisconsin plan is just the beginning of Hon Hai's investment in the U.S. and the Taiwanese firm's investment could expand to US$30 billion. International media said that Michigan and Ohio are gearing up for Hon Hai to pour funds into the two states.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel