Empower Wisconsin | Sept. 25, 2019
MADISON — Forget Foxconn?
It’s hard to forget a multi-billion-dollar multinational corporation that wants to build a massive advanced technology plant in your state and create thousands of new jobs. But if anyone could, it’s politically forgetful Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers.
It seems the Democrat omitted an important detail from his recent trade trip to Japan, according to a story last week in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
In late August, Foxconn’s new chairman, Young Liu, led a Wisconsin delegation on a tour of the company’s state-of-the art Gen 6 plant in Japan, the newspaper reported. Evers was treated to demonstrations of the kind of high-tech applications expected to be developed at the Foxconn plant under construction in Racine.
But Evers’ press team said nothing about the tour in a Sept. 12 press release on the governor’s Japan trip.
The press release noted Evers’ meeting with Gov. Kensaku Morita and the Chiba Prefectural Board of Education, the Journal Sentinel reported. It even described Evers’ tour of “the original Kikkoman soy sauce facility.”
Kikkoman, as the article notes, has a plant in Walworth that employee more than 200 people and produces about half the company’s soy sauce globally.
Taiwan-based Foxconn, of course, is the fourth-largest information technology company in the world. It is the manufacturer of the iPhone, iPad, iPod, the Kindle, and gaming systems like Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox.
The Racine plant will be Foxconn’s first U.S. production facility.
Evers, though, didn’t think all of that was enough to rate a mention in his press release. Maybe it’s because he really loves soy sauce but isn’t so big on cutting-edge technology.
Or maybe it’s because his liberal friends despise the incentive package his predecessor Gov. Scott Walker and state and local officials brokered to land a $10 billion economic development deal — the largest of its kind in the United States — for the Badger State.
Or maybe Evers’ curious omission is a purely political calculation. It’s hard to say and the governor’s press director didn’t return Empower Wisconsin’s request for comment.
We do know the 28-member Japan trade mission delegation included 13 Wisconsin business leaders, and one forgetful governor.