Foxconn, Apple’s lead manufacturing partner, is in talks with Wisconsin about the opening of its first ever plant in the U.S., the Associated Press reports.
Discussions come just a week after General Electric announced its plans to relocate its Wisconsin plant to Canada.
Foxconn has a decorated past of lobbying for special aid in targeted locations. As China’s largest employer, Foxconn has been able to obtain special benefits in areas such as taxes, exports, infrastructure, and labor. CBS News reports that the Trump administration may be involved in the negotiations.
Trump mentioned throughout his campaign that he aims to make the U.S. economy more competitive with China by creating a level playing field.
“We have lost thousands of factories since China opened up and joined the WTO,” Trump exclaimed at a victory rally in Orlando last December. “70,000 factories we have lost… it’s hard to believe. I thought it was a typo. It is the greatest jobs theft in the history of the world.” He also labeled China as a currency manipulator, a claim he later retracted.
Trump’s campaign promise of coercing tech companies to “build their damn computers and things in this country” is further supplemented by his threat of punitive tariffs on Chinese imports.
During Trump’s speech in Milwaukee on Tuesday, Trump hinted at pending negotiations when he claimed, “We’re negotiating with a lot of companies. Just backstage we were negotiating with a major, major incredible manufacturer of phones and computers and televisions, and I think they’re going to give the governor [Scott Walker] a very happy surprise.”