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Apple supplier Foxconn has been considering opening a facility in the United States, and the company is investigating Wisconsin as one possible location, reports The Associated Press.

According to an unspecified person with "direct knowledge" of the negotiations, the state of Wisconsin is currently in talks with Foxconn. Michigan is also said to be pursuing the Foxconn plant.

foxconn-iphone-7-800x368.jpg
President Donald Trump alluded to negotiations with an unspecified company during a visit to Milwaukee on Tuesday, saying [Wisconsin Governor] Walker might get "a very happy surprise very soon." Trump said "we were negotiating with a major, major incredible manufacturer of phones and computers and televisions."
Rumors suggesting Foxconn might open a United States factory first surfaced last November, after Apple reportedly asked suppliers Foxconn and Pegatron to look into the feasibility of producing iPhones in the United States.

Foxconn in January confirmed that it was mulling $7 billion joint investment with Apple for a U.S. factory that would produce displays. Foxconn chairman Terry Gou said that a U.S. display facility could make sense given the increase in demand for larger display panels, but he did express some concerns over the skill of the workforce in the U.S. and negotiating a deal with the government.

Foxconn has reportedly been in talks with both the U.S. federal government and individual state governments for several months over the facility, which, if established, could be used to manufacture displays for the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.

Gou in January also said Foxconn is planning to establish a new molding facility in the United States, with Pennsylvania cited as a possible location. It is not clear if Wisconsin will be the home of the molding facility or the display facility built in partnership with Apple.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Apple Supplier Foxconn Considering Wisconsin Plant
 

0007776

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Jul 11, 2006
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I'm sure it will be better for the environment to have them manufactured here instead of shipped from China. This won't create many jobs as most of it will be automated though.
 

im_to_hyper

macrumors 65816
Aug 25, 2004
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Pasadena, California, USA
In before the leftists say more manufacturing in America is a bad thing

"Those darn common-sense filled debby downers always using facts and statistics and science and logic and reason! Maybe we should put our earmuffs on and call it FAKE NEWS!"

Seriously though. The Foxconn chairman is worried about the quality of the workforce because we have a high percentage of high school graduates and an OK percentage of college graduates, but not a lot of vocational skills training (community colleges, technical colleges).

Luckily Wisconsin has a great technical college program that could easily add an electronic components-geared manufacturing curriculum to train up the workers.

For a company like Foxconn and Apple to do this is a pretty big investment, but I'm guessing they will want the state to provide the education opportunities as part of this deal.

However: many conservatives in Wisconsin have been all for state-funded technical colleges provided they had an adequate school to work program. Or if you complete your 2 year degree and stay at a decent job in-state for five years, you get a refund or your loans forgiven.

However: the funds for that need to come from tax payer dollars.

Pardon my leftist analysis of the logistical situation in that particular state.

Some of the perks:

- China has agreed to the Pairs Climate Agreement and the USA has not and is leaving it up to the states. Wisconsin is not part of the US Climate Alliance. That means that environment controls will not be as stringent as working elsewhere.

- Wisconsin has a low minimum wage: the cost of labor will not be insane. Pay something above minimum such as $10/hr and you have yourself a great entry level position. Cap management and supervisors at $30/hr and you are golden.

- Wisconsin makes it difficult for unions to form: Foxconn will likely not worry about the labor unionizing.

- Wisconsin is centralized in the USA for rail shipping, but also has ocean access and global shipping routes available via Lake Michigan and Lake Superior so product manufactured can be sent anywhere.

- Apple's non-disclosure agreements and patents can be more actively enforced in the US with less leaks to the web of parts.

Downsides:

Healthcare in Wisconsin is expensive compared to its Minnesota and Michigan neighbors. The cost of providing the type of insurance as factories did "back in the day" will work out well.
 
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dmx

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Oct 25, 2008
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Glad to see this. With the level of automation in an entirely new facility, there isn't going to be a significant impact on pricing, I would guess it's a cost that Apple would be willing to eat for the goodwill alone - while, of course, keeping the bulk of manufacturing in China.
 

DakotaGuy

macrumors 601
Jan 14, 2002
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South Dakota, USA
This is a good thing. With modern automation it might not provide a huge amount of jobs, but the jobs it does provide will be good jobs. I don't see left or right why anyone would be against this.
 
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ThunderSkunk

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Dec 31, 2007
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Wisconsin is an interesting choice. Its got a disproportionately high amount of people with higher and technical education, and the work ethic is famously slavish to a fault, but it is not a cheap state to do business in, or live in. Taxes are what, second highest in the country, and subject to change with the weather & governor.

I can't imagine what they'd have Wisconsinites building. Whatever it is, it better start with a huge margin if it's going to absorb the costs of all that and the winter logistics.

If only wisconsin had some sort of... modern transportation... like a high speed rail... lol
 
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budselectjr

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2009
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Minnesota
Too bad leftists couldn't get in before you wrote nonsense. Let me guess, you want the new plant to be powered by coal.

There is over at 30% chance it will be powered by coal.

Wisconsin is an interesting choice. Its got a disproportionately high amount of people with higher and technical education, and the work ethic is famously slavish to a fault, but it is not a cheap state to do business in, or live in. Taxes are what, second highest in the country, and subject to change with the weather & governor.

I can't imagine what they'd have Wisconsinites building. Whatever it is, it better start with a huge margin if it's going to absorb the costs of all that and the winter logistics.

If only wisconsin had some sort of... modern transportation... like a high speed rail... lol

Right to work state
 

Denmac1

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Apr 22, 2007
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Lost in Space
Besides the logistics of parts aside, how large a factory would they build? Wisconsin has some major employers. Based on the latest available demographics, the available workforce is only about 750,000 and most of them are already employed. So it seems that them placing a factory there may only placate the administration and not really employ that many people. (If they can find those that want to work at repetitive jobs...and not lets forget the robotics) If it's Foxconn that is the employer, Apple wouldn't be able to, IMHO, bring back their overseas money.
 

npmacuser5

macrumors 68000
Apr 10, 2015
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Foxconn stated goal, 100% automation manufacturing iPhones in China in the next 5 years. Eliminating 400K plus Chinese cheap labor jobs. Will they get there, maybe not, but the direction does not speak favorably for middle class jobs. Manufacturing entering a new era. Those who depend the old ways, may want to rethink their jobs prospects in the future.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
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Redondo Beach, California
But I thought the naysayers said there was no one left in the U.S. with manufacturing skills

They don't need "skills". The machines are automated and the workers like those China basically load materials into the machines and then after the robots place the finished pats in boxes drive the forklift. A Factory like this means a few hundred low-pay jobs. But heck it sure beats working in a Tyson chicken processing plant.

But also some good high-pay jobs too. Some engineers in California get to design and program the robots and maybe even fly out to WI and supervise the installation.
 
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Glideslope

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Dec 7, 2007
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The vast majority of the plant, if built, will be robotic. New jobs will be minimal. :apple:
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Why the need for technical work force? Don’t they run through Chinese farmer kids with high turnover? How technical can it be?

....and your point is what? Wisconsin Dairy Farmers Kids are not good enough? :rolleyes:
 
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ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
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Redondo Beach, California
Why the need for technical work force? Don’t they run through Chinese farmer kids with high turnover? How technical can it be?

Yes this is EXACTLY why the current system is the best thing. What I was hinting at above: If an "America First" person were negotiating with China about how to split up jobs he'd say "Lets put all the 180K per year engineering and design jobs in California and all the minimum wage zero-skill manufacturing jobs in China." You would THINK the Chinese would object to such a plan but NO. That is what happened.

But now maybe things are reversing and it will be Americans working 12 hour shift in dead end jobs for minimum wage building Chines designed goods that they themselves will never be able to afford.
 
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