The benefits of a new Foxconn plant are worth $3 billion in incentives, according to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Two weeks ago, the Taiwanese technology company announced it will invest $10 billion to build a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin, creating 3,000 jobs. At the time of the announcement, Walker said the agreement could eventually grow to 13,000 jobs, with 22,000 indirect and induced jobs, and 10,000 construction jobs.
Last week, Walker ordered the state legislature back into special session to consider a package that would award Foxconn $3 billion over 15 years in mostly cash incentives and waive several state environmental reviews.
“The trade-off is $3 billion in incentives that they pay as they grow. It’s a good deal. I think the state legislature is going to go along,” Walker told CNBC on Tuesday.
The Republican believes the vote will get done this month.
“You’ve got Republicans and Democrats in this part of the state working together because they know when you talk about these kind of jobs, it doesn’t matter what party you are, people and families benefit from it,” said Walker.
According to an analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, it would take at least 25 years for the state’s taxpayers to break even on the incentives.
However, when asked if the state was buying growth and taking money away from schools and roads, Walker pointed out that while he’s been in office, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has gone from 9.2 percent to 3.1 percent.
“More people are employed in the state than ever before. And the state budget that is just starting for the next two years, we actually put more money in the schools … than ever before,” he said.
And while much of the state’s economic recovery happened before President Donald Trump took office, Walker said he appreciated the changes the administration has made in terms of regulation.
“Ronald Reagan once said it’s amazing what you can get done if you don’t care who gets credit for it. We’re willing to share it. We’ve done good things here,” Walker said.
— CNBC’s Brian Sullivan, Anita Balakrishnan, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Tech CNBC
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker defends Foxconn incentive package, touts state's turnaround