Trump’s “8th wonder of the world,” Foxconn Technology, has proven to be another broken promise in a long litany of the president’s failures to deliver for working Wisconsinites. His failure to deliver over 10,000 jobs that Trump promised, combined with his failed COVID-19 pandemic, has dealt another blow to the states already ailing economy.
In June of, 2018, Trump came to Wisconsin to make a spectacle to help break ground on the Foxconn project, calling it the “8th wonder of the world,” and declaring it would bring over 10,000 jobs to the state.
- “President Donald Trump declared a Foxconn Technology Group campus in Racine County “the 8th Wonder of the World” during a ceremony in which he and Gov. Scott Walker praised each other for bringing the Taiwanese manufacturer to America. The event came as Foxconn confirmed its initial facility in what will be known as “Wisconsin Valley” will be smaller than originally announced. The company and state officials maintained the investment will still reach $10 billion and create 13,000 jobs once completed in four to five years.” [Journal Times, 6/29/18]
But less than a year later, it became clear Trump was breaking yet another promise to Wisconsinites as the project continued to scale down the number of jobs it would create.
- “‘The eighth wonder of the world,’ President Trump proclaimed when he kicked off construction with a golden shovel full of dirt. Or perhaps not. As solid as the walls to the new factory might seem, the company behind them — Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn — has repeatedly backtracked on ambitious visions that attracted billions of dollars in state incentives…’Every couple of months there’s been a different plan,’ said Steven Deller, an economist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. ‘First it was 13,000 jobs. Now it might be 1,000 jobs. They’ve really scaled back on what they plan to do.’ [Washington Post, 9/28/19]
Now, as Wisconsin’s economy continues to feel the devastation of Trump’s failed COVID-19 pandemic response, Trump’s Foxconn project is set to deliver next to nothing for hard working Wisconsinites,
- The renovations never arrived. Neither did the factory, the tech campus, nor the thousands of jobs. Interviews with 19 employees and dozens of others involved with the project, as well as thousands of pages of public documents, reveal a project that has defaulted on almost every promise. The building Foxconn calls an LCD factory — about 1/20th the size of the original plan — is little more than an empty shell. In September, Foxconn received a permit to change its intended use from manufacturing to storage. [The Verge, 10/19/20]
New data confirms that Trump and Pence’s failed COVID-19 response tanked the economy, contracting by 32.6% between April and June. This exacerbated existing economic trouble from the manufacturing recession Trump oversaw from his chaotic trade policies with China.
- “Wisconsin’s economy shrunk by an annual rate of 32.6 percent between April and June compared to the first three months of 2020, according to new numbers released Friday from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. The drop is the highest recorded by the agency since it started tracking quarterly GDP figures for states in 2005. It dwarfs some of the worst losses seen in past quarters, which hover around 8 percent.” [Wisconsin Public Radio, 10/02/20]
Despite grand promises, Wisconsin is down more than 9,000 manufacturing jobs since Donald Trump took office, with the Badger state losing factory jobs in 2019 and through the COVID-19 pandemic.