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Foxconn Economic Impact To Outpace State’s Defense Contractors, Walker Says

Walker Touted Electronics Makers’ Potential To Business Leaders In Northeastern Wisconsin

Foxconn signing
Dave Cole/WPR

The business group NEW North — which represents businesses around Northeastern Wisconsin — held its annual summit in downtown Green Bay on Thursday. The focus of this years’ summit was changing times and the importance of the supply chain.

Much ado was made of the state’s $3 billion deal with Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn that plans to build a 20 million square foot plant in Racine County. The state is offering the incentive deal under the condition that the company creates and maintains 13,000 permanent jobs and invests $9 billion in constructing its facility.

Walker told business leaders in attendance Thursday that many more jobs — 35,000 to be exact — would be created through construction of the factory and then through the supply chain that will provide goods and services to Foxconn.

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He also said the deal has the potential to outpace supplier deals done by the U.S. Department of Defense contractor Oshkosh Corp.

Oshkosh Corp. makes heavy-duty vehicles including some used by the United States military. Walker said Foxconn plans to outsource a lot more work than Oshkosh does.

“They do around $300 million worth of supply chain a year. Foxconn, when it is up and operational at its full peak, will do about $1.4 billion,” Walker said. “That’s more than four times than what Oshkosh does.”

Walker also said that the economic benefits wouldn’t be confined to southeastern Wisconsin.

He pointed those in attendance to a website, created by NEW North, to find out how they could benefit from the project. The site is an online tool that connects buyers and Wisconsin suppliers in one spot.

“You need to go there not just for Foxconn,” Walker said, “This is one of the most comprehensive supply chain marketplaces in the entire country, arguably in the world.”