Foxconn may scale back US plant

TAIPEI • Foxconn Technology Group is considering scaling back or even abandoning plans to make cutting-edge displays from a US$10 billion (RM41 billion) plant it’s building in the US, Reuters reported.

Such a move could undermine promises to create 13,000 jobs at a project hailed by US President Donald Trump for reviving American manufacturing. Apple Inc’s main manufacturing partner is re-thinking its approach because of the high cost of making advanced TV screens from the US, Reuters cited spokesman Louis Woo as saying.

Foxconn unveiled the Wisconsin project with much fanfare in 2017 as the Taiwanese company extracted a raft of incentives from the state, although some were forfeited last year after falling short of hiring goals. Billionaire chairman Terry Gou’s Taiwanese company is in a particularly precarious position as the US and China wage an escalating battle over trade. It does most of its manufacturing in the mainland, sells products to Americans and faces pressure from both sides to maintain or create new jobs.

Foxconn now intends to turn the Wisconsin site into a base for mostly engineers and researchers, Reuters cited Woo as saying. It would also produce specialised products for industrial, healthcare and professional applications, he said.

“In terms of TV, we have no place in the US,” Woo is cited as saying. “We can’t compete.” — Bloomberg