UPDATE: 12 p.m. Thursday
WTMJ partner station TODAY’S TMJ4 received a statement from Foxconn saying the project is still moving forward, with details on what they plan to do.
Into our newsroom courtesy of @PeteZervakisTV. Foxconn says Nikkei Asian Review report on delaying Wisconn Valley construction inaccurate. pic.twitter.com/FKcdD5CKM5
— Ben Jordan (@BenJordan3) January 31, 2019
A report citing a document from Foxconn says that the company has “suspended and scaled back” its planned investment of at least $10 billion in Wisconsin, including a huge facility in Mount Pleasant.
Nikkei Asian Review said Thursday that, according to the document, this move to halt its growth for now in Wisconsin has to do with negotiations with new Governor Tony Evers.
However, both sides said the project is still moving forward.
Both Foxconn and Evers said Thursday they continue to work well together amid reports that Foxconn is changing direction for the site away from manufacturing in favor of making it a research and development hub.
The article also reflects what Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce President Tim Sheehy told WTMJ on Wednesday, that the current economic conditions have made Foxconn pivot its strategy.
“Their plans are going to evolve and change. It’s not necessarily comforting to everybody, but this is the reality,” Sheehy said.
“It’s clearly changing their thinking or affecting their thinking, in terms of what is best suited for the campus and investment here in Wisconsin.”
Specifically, Nikkei said that Foxconn’s change of direction involves “weakening macroeconomic conditions and the uncertainties brought by the trade war,” according to Nikkei’s source.
“If Foxconn expands as planned regardless of the rapidly changing market dynamics, it could eventually hurt the company’s business. It’s much safer to wait and carefully reconsider the next step,” they said.
A source told Nikkei that Foxconn “does not plan to abandon the $10 billion project entirely,” but will alter the plan after discernment and conversations with Governor Evers.
While on WTMJ, Sheehy praised Evers for how he is handling the situation.
“Clearly…the Foxconn project has been a political football, kicked back and forth during the election. It’s always challenging…to get to the business facts. I give Governor Evers and his administration a lot of credit for how they’ve approached this.”