It's official: Foxconn will get $3 billion to build a plant in Wisconsin

Foxconn deals around the world haven't materialized
Foxconn deals around the world haven't materialized

Wisconsin's Foxconn deal is a go.

On Monday, Gov. Scott Walker approved $3 billion in incentives for the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer to build a new plant in the state. The hefty gift, which was first announced in July, was hotly debated by state legislators before they gave their approval last week.

"We are honored Foxconn chose Wisconsin, and I'm grateful to [Foxconn CEO] Terry Gou and the members of both parties in the Legislature for all they have done to make this historic event a reality," Walker, a Republican, said in a statement.

Foxconn has pledged to invest $10 billion to build a factory that makes LCD screens. The facility is expected to create between 3,000 and 13,000 new jobs and should be up and running by 2020.

The deal has been touted by President Donald Trump, who has referred to Gou as "one of the great businessmen anywhere in the world."

But in Wisconsin, the agreement's price tag has made it controversial.

Related: Wisconsin's handout to lure Foxconn is contentious

The annual payout to Foxconn will be between $200 million and $250 million, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

That means the state will pay between $15,000 and $19,000 dollars per job per year, assuming 13,000 positions are actually created.

The incentives include up to $1.5 billion in state income tax credits for job creation, up to $1.35 billion in state income tax credits for capital investment and up $150 million for the sales and use tax exemption, according to the development agency.

The typical deal would be closer to $2,400 per job per year, according to Timothy Bartik, an economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

"[Foxconn is] looking to automate. They're looking to make money. Let's not get lost in the excitement of it," state Sen. Chris Larson, a Democrat, told fellow lawmakers last week.

Ultimately, the Republican-controlled legislature gave its okay. The deal even garnered support from some Democrats.

"Today Wisconsin is officially saying yes to a $10 billion development project, 13,000 careers and new opportunities throughout Wisconsin," Robin Vos, the state Assembly's top Republican, said in a press release. "This law allows the state to move forward on the largest economic development project in state history."

Up next: the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will negotiate a final contract with Foxconn within the parameters set by the legislation. But the hardest work is done.

The agency hopes to have a contract in hand by the time its board of directors meets on Sept. 28.

In a statement, Foxconn said, "We greatly appreciate Governor Scott Walker's efforts to help us move forward with our plans to build the state-of-the-art advanced display manufacturing campus in Southeastern Wisconsin."

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