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Foxconn recommits to Wisconsin plant, despite governor's doubts

The company says it's still focused on job creation in the Badger State.

President Trump Attends Groundbreaking Of Foxconn Factory In Wisconsin
President Donald Trump (left) and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (right) joined Foxconn founder Terry Gou at the groundbreaking of the company's Wisconsin plant last summer.
Andy Manis / Getty Images

Foxconn apparently still has big plans for Wisconsin, even though the state's governor is skeptical.

The Taiwan-based contract manufacturer best known for assembling Apple iPhones said Friday it remains committed to building a factory and research facility in the state.

"Foxconn's commitment to job creation in Wisconsin remains long term and will span over the length of the WEDC (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation) contract and beyond," said Foxconn Technology Group in an emailed statement.

The company added that construction on its facility to manufacture LCD displays will start this summer, though it didn't specify how many people it plans to hire.

Foxconn said in 2017 that the $10 billion facility would make LCD displays and employ up to 13,000 people, but reports earlier this year suggested the company was scaling back its plans.

On Wednesday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said that the project would likely be much smaller than originally planned and that it's "unrealistic" to expect Foxconn to hire 13,000 people.

"The bottom line is they've shrunk their expectations," Evers said. "That's what they're communicating now."

Evers, a Democrat, inherited the deal from previous Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Walker helped woo Foxconn to Wisconsin with the largest incentive in state history, and Evers was critical during his campaign of Walker's dealings with the company. Evers' office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Foxconn's future has also come into question as Chairman Terry Gou announced Wednesday that he's entering the 2020 presidential race in Taiwan. Gou said he would "withdraw from daily operations" at Foxconn if he wins a primary election to represent the Kuomintang party, according to CNN.

Originally published April 19, 6:50 a.m. PT.
Update, 7:36 a.m.: Adds background on Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou.