Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Gov. Scott Walker has been pushing through a $3 billion dollar tax-payer funded deal to bring the Taiwanese company Foxconn to Wisconsin, with little transparency.

Gov. Scott Walker has been pushing through a $3 billion dollar taxpayer-funded deal to bring the Taiwanese company Foxconn to Wisconsin, with little transparency. (Photo: Prachatai/Flickr/cc)

Critics Wary of Wisconsin Gov. Walker's Plan to Push Through Foxconn Deal

Residents question whether the jobs provided by manufacturer would be worth the investment

Julia Conley

Critics are raising doubts about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's plan to bring the Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn to the state, by way of a $3 billion dollar investment to fund a huge new factory in the southeastern part of the state.

While the project has been heralded as an example of Walker's commitment to bringing jobs to the state—and that of President Donald Trump, who has championed the planned deal and has called it "incredible"—economists and Wisconsin residents alike are questioning how much the state stands to gain from Foxconn's arrival.

Residents of southeastern Wisconsin have expressed alarm at Walker's attempt to push the deal through hastily, with little input from those who would be impacted by Foxconn's presence. The proposal being considered by lawmakers includes provisions that would allow Foxconn to start building without a detailed analysis of its environmental impact, which is usually required of large projects. The company would also be exempt from state regulations that protect wetlands.

"Our government is willing to sacrifice things like the environment that are irreplaceable to the people, just for commerce," said resident Bill Keyes in an interview with the New York Times. "These rules on the environment are hard-won victories, and they’re being ignored, like they don’t mean anything."

The local chapter of the Sierra Club has also spoken out against the proposal. "From a broad brush, bringing in a manufacturing facility to Wisconsin is fine as long as you do it right," chapter director Bill Davis told the Times. "The things that attract businesses to Wisconsin tend to actually be clean air, clean water, skilled work force. So you don’t want to jeopardize those things."

Walker has said the "once-in-a-lifetime" project would create up to 13,000 jobs if it's approved by state legislators, which could happen as early as next week. Those jobs would be partially funded by $3 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies. But according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, taxpayers wouldn't see a return on their investment until at least 2042.

The report notes that "it is likely that some of the new positions would be filled by Illinois residents," which could mean it would take even longer for Wisconsin to break even on the project.

As the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, "Wisconsin has an unusually low unemployment rate (3.2 percent), well below the country’s 4.3 percent. Employers there already complain about having trouble finding workers...If Foxconn fills jobs with workers from neighboring Illinois, where the unemployment rate is 4.7 percent, analysts predict the deal won’t start making money for Wisconsin until 2045."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Amid Existential Threat to Reproductive Rights, Congress Urged to Act

"It's the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and if we don't fight like hell it could very well be the last," said one campaigner, who called on U.S. lawmakers to pass the Women's Health Protection Act.

Brett Wilkins ·


Black Mississippi State Senators Stage Walkout as Critical Race Theory Ban Passed

"We cannot continue to stumble into the future backwards," said one Black senator who taught for 33 years. "That's what this bill does."

Brett Wilkins ·


Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist Thích Nhất Hạnh Dead at 95

"He inspired so many good people to dedicate themselves to working for a more just and compassionate world."

Jessica Corbett ·


Draft Order Shows Trump Considered Using Military to Seize Voting Machines

"This was part of the records that Trump was fighting to keep from the January 6th committee," one government watchdog noted.

Brett Wilkins ·


Groups Warn US Lawmakers Against Fueling 'New Cold War' With China

A policy of hostility toward Beijing, says a global justice advocate, has "become a convenient excuse for pushing a corporate, militarist agenda."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo