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Foxconn says Wisconsin facility will do both manufacturing and R&D

Foxconn's $10 billion facility in Wisconsin will handle both manufacturing and research, the company said on Friday, trying to staunch controversy over statements it made earlier this week.

President Trump helping to break ground.

President Trump helping to break ground.


The complex will operate as an "advanced manufacturing facility as well as a hub of high technology innovation," Foxconn told CNBC. The company said it made a decision after talks with the White House, including a direct conversation between President Trump and Foxconn chairman Terry Gou.

"Our decision is also based on a recent comprehensive and systematic evaluation to help determine the best fit for our Wisconsin project among TFT technologies," it added. "We have undertaken the evaluation while simultaneously seeking to broaden our investment across Wisconsin far beyond our original plans to ensure the company, our workforce, the local community, and the state of Wisconsin will be positioned for long-term success."

Earlier this week an assistant to Gou said the company was altering its original plans to focus more on research and engineering. The company received some $4 billion in tax breaks with the expectation that it would build LCD TV panels — the assistant however said that Foxconn has "no place" in the U.S. TV market since it "can't compete."

Foxconn is Apple's main assembly partner, headquartered in Taiwan and operating mostly out of China. The company has been vague on its plans for Wisconsin, sometimes leading to speculation a U.S. factory could help serve Apple.

Its goals continue to include hitting 13,000 jobs, but hiring has slowed to the point that only 1,000 workers will come onboard by the end of 2020, instead of the original target of 5,200. It also hired just 178 people in 2018, missing the 260 it needed to get the first $9.5 million in tax credits.

Read Foxconn's full statement:

After productive discussions between the White House and the company, and after a personal conversation between President Donald J. Trump and Chairman Terry Gou, Foxconn is moving forward with our planned construction of a Gen 6 fab facility, which will be at the heart of the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park. This campus will serve both as an advanced manufacturing facility as well as a hub of high technology innovation for the region.

Our decision is also based on a recent comprehensive and systematic evaluation to help determine the best fit for our Wisconsin project among TFT technologies. We have undertaken the evaluation while simultaneously seeking to broaden our investment across Wisconsin far beyond our original plans to ensure the company, our workforce, the local community, and the state of Wisconsin will be positioned for long-term success.

We look forward to continuing to expand our investment in American talent in Wisconsin and the US.