The Foxconn Technology Group’s Wisconsin manufacturing campus, once proposed as the site of a massive new television production factory, will not be receiving any state tax credits for work done in 2019, according to reports citing a decision by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

The facility in Mount Pleasant, Wisc., which was once hailed by President Trump as “the eighth wonder of the world,” for its plans to bring back thousands of electronics manufacturing jobs to the United States, missed its hiring goals for 2019, according to a report this week by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The plant was at one time proposed to be the site of a Sharp Corp./Foxconn 10.5 Gen LCD fab intended to help the company, which at the time was newly under the control of Hon Hai Precision’s Foxconn unit, take a leadership role in a budding new 5G/8K technology ecosystem.

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But the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. said that Foxconn hired only 281 people eligible for tax credits during the year and had made only $300 million in capital expenditures, which was insufficient for the goals laid out in a contract between the state and the Taiwan-based company.

Foxconn reportedly said this week that it was surprised by the state’s decision, even though the site remains the center of stiff debate among state taxpayers, who in 2017 were put on the hook for $2.85 billion in promised tax credits over time, if Foxconn met its agreed upon investment and hiring goals.

Prior to the deal’s approval, Foxconn had spoken openly about its plan to develop an advanced 10.5 Gen LCD manufacturing facility intended to churn out large panels for TVs, while promising the creation of up to 13,000 jobs in the state. Since then, plans were scaled back to a much smaller Gen 6 facility capable of producing screens for smaller-screen TVs as well as tablets and smartphones.

Foxconn and WEDC have been renegotiating the agreement for months, without a new contract, the report said.

Foxconn reportedly expressed its disappointment in the state’s decision, adding that it continues to fulfill its financial obligations under the local contract and remains the region’s largest taxpayer. The company added that the action by the WEDC now threatens further good faith negotiations.

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By Greg Tarr

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