Sharp Executive Says Plan for Foxconn LCD Plant in U.S. is Still 'On The Table'

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Foxconn and Sharp are looking closer than ever to building a manufacturing plant within the United States, according to one Sharp executive who said that the plan is still "on the table" (via Nikkei). The plant would mainly be focused on the manufacturing of LCD panels for TV sets and home appliances, but Foxconn is said to be considering moving iPhone production stateside as well.

    The news continues a rumor from last year born out of President-elect Donald Trump's comments on wanting Apple to make its products stateside. Foxconn laid out plans for such a move in December, along with Japan-based SoftBank Group, with each company hoping to create a combined 100,000 jobs in the U.S. over the next four years.

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    Nothing is yet official, however, and the same Sharp executive noted that "we will make a decision carefully."
    Although details about the cost of the plant and its location remain unspecified, people familiar with the plan said Foxconn would spend about the same amount on constructing the U.S. location as it did on a similar facility in Guangzhou -- around 1 trillion yen, or $8.69 billion.

    As an incentive, Donald Trump in November told Apple CEO Tim Cook that he would offer the company a "very large tax cut" to make its products in the U.S. Cook was said to have remained largely neutral on the subject during his call with Trump, later pointing out that one of the major reasons Apple's manufacturing is so heavily centered in China is due to the country's large number of individuals with the required "vocational kind of skills."

    Foxconn and Apple both have manufacturing facilities on a very small scale in the U.S., but the newly discussed facility by Foxconn and Sharp would be notably larger. Currently, Foxconn has plants in Virginia and Indiana, along with logistic locations in California and Texas. Apple has a comparably limited facility in Austin, Texas which manufactures the company's Mac Pro.

    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: Sharp Executive Says Plan for Foxconn LCD Plant in U.S. is Still 'On The Table'
     
  2. furi0usbee macrumors 68000

    furi0usbee

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    ...due to the country's large number of individuals with the required "vocational kind of skills."

    Yeah, we have no workers here who can stand on assembly lines I guess... just like Nike, they can find no workers here who can make sneakers... they are so damn hard to make I guess.

    The only thing I can get on board with Trump is this whole MADE IN USA thing. These companies should realize that maximizing profit at the expense of the country's workers is NOT patriotic. Apple would still make billions and billions making products here, just not as much as making them in China. Tim cares about his company more than his country, that is the problem.
     
  3. canny macrumors regular

    canny

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    It's funny how the media is getting on board with the whole "mindrays from Moscow" narrative about why Trump won. After all, there can't possibly be any reason why people would not vote for Hillary "offshore your jobs" Clinton, right?

    There is one major country who would want to interfere with a "make it in the USA" candidate, and it's not Russia.
     
  4. bstpierre macrumors 6502

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    You have to admit that China has way more vocationally minded workers than the US does.

    Don't forget that Trump also sourced his products from China (at least he did before he became a presidential candidate).
     
  5. NomadicTy macrumors regular

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    bstpierre - as CEO, he was beholden to his company and shareholders. As president, he is supposed to work for us. It's like criminal defense attorneys starting off working for district attorneys. One is supposed to do the job they are given to the best of their abilities.
     
  6. Mac 128, Jan 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017

    Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    CEO's have no such duty to compromise personal or professional ethics to benefit shareholders. Many companies keep their manufacturing in the US when it would be cheaper to take it outside, in part because of an ethical position to keep jobs in the US.

    A defense attorney may represent a different type of client than a district attorney, but there is no inherent ethical compromise in doing so, unless the lawyer is ethically challenged to begin with. In both jobs, the lawyers attempt to represent the truth to the best of their abilities, and indeed are required by law to do so.

    A CEO makes an ethical decision about where to manufacture goods -- pay more and make them in the US, pay less and ship the jobs offshore, or don't make that particular product at all. Hiding behind the shareholders as defense of ones actions is a cheat. That's like a prosecuting attorney taking a job defending the very client they were previously prosecuting, knowing the client was guilty despite beating the charges on a technicality, and claiming they have to defend the new client because it's their job. It starts with an ethical choice about whether to take the job in the first place.
     
  7. nt5672 macrumors 68000

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    What I think is interesting is the Cook when trying to appease the Democrats holds fundraisers and when trying to appease the Republicans he tells Foxconn to look at building plants in the US. I guess its no secret which approach is better for America.
     
  8. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    Depends on what you mean by better. The cost of the iPhone might be out of reach for the very workers who assemble them. Vocational education will perpetuate a class of workers who do little else than assemble products in this country, as the viability of maintaining a manufacturing base in a region depends on workers trained for the task, a pool which by the realities of increased migration to robots virtually guarantees an eventual reduction of jobs regardless of the immediate reality, posing real issues for continued long term job growth, and necessitating job retraining anyway.
     
  9. Rocketman macrumors 603

    Rocketman

    #9
    Tim has a fiduciary responsibility to behave that way. Perhaps you should propose changing the law or regulation he is complying with at SEC. Do you know about the Federal Register and how to contribute to it?

    I have personally changed three regulations. Two at FAA and one at BATFE. You can do it too. It might take a couple of years.
     
  10. goobot macrumors 603

    goobot

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    You act as if that's the only role the president has.
     
  11. nt5672 macrumors 68000

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    With that logic then its ok, to ship all of our jobs overseas, and move the not employed number from 45% of the U.S. population to 75%. That will be better, no doubt. Of course, that does not consider that the poverty level government income will continue to go down, down, down, as more people decide not to work. Because if you really believe what you wrote, then that will be the outcome.

    "posing real issues for continued long term job growth, and necessitating job retraining anyway." which we have already thanks to our current government.
     
  12. typonaut macrumors member

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    By 'vocational skills' I think they mean people who can make tools and prototypes, etc. Obviously there is no inherent advantage on the assembly line between Chinese labour and USA labour - other than price.

    This whole story seems like fluff to me though. In order to make it worthwhile manufacturing LCDs in the USA you also have to be manufacturing devices to use those LCDs. Otherwise you'll be making them in the USA, shipping them to SE Asia to be assembled into devices, then shipping them back to the USA for people to use. This might work if your customer base were automotive, ie the cars are largely maufactured in the USA, but I doubt that market segment alone would warrant the investment of an entire LCD plant.

    Additionally, I'm not certain, but I believe there is a high degree of automation in the creation of LCD screens - it's unlikely that an LCD plant would actually result in many jobs.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 13, 2017 ---
    Isn't it clear enough that what the people have wanted for the past 20 or 30 years is cheap consumer goods (clothes, electronics, etc), the price that is ultimately paid for that is shipping the manufacturing base overseas (as true in North America as it is in Western Europe).

    When the prices start going up in those emerging manufacturing centres we just get more expensive goods, but no jobs - because it is almost impossible to bring those jobs back again.
     
  13. fatalogic macrumors regular

    fatalogic

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    Manufacturing is coming back to the US but not the way everyone thinks it is. Robots are become very cheap and very good at replacing common manufacturing jobs. I'd say in the next 10-15 years there will be a big push to manufacture in the US but it won't be bringing back factory jobs. We coming very close to the point where buying and maintaining robots will be cheaper than dealing with an international supply chain.
     
  14. I7guy macrumors P6

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    #14
    That's not a problem. Every fortune CEO thinks the same way. Don't make it like Tim is more unpatriotic than the next CEO.
     
  15. philmore13 macrumors member

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    Assuming that this will translate into lower profits and not higher prices is asinine
     
  16. kdarling, Jan 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017

    kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    He does not. The idea that profit legally comes first is the biggest myth around, recently created by greedy hedge funds and by execs paid by profit performance.

    If he wanted to concentrate on bringing jobs to the US, he certainly can. A good corporation is also a good citizen, and takes care of its people, its neighbors, and its country.

    As the US Supreme Court noted recently in the Hobby Lobby case:

    Some lower court judges have suggested that RFRA does not protect for-profit corporations because the purpose of such corporations is simply to make money.23 This argument flies in the face of modern corporate law.

    "Each American jurisdiction today either expressly or by implication authorizes corporations to be formed under its general corporation act for any lawful purpose or business." 1 J. Cox & T. Hazen, Treatise of the Law of Corporations §4:1, p. 224 (3d ed. 2010) (emphasis added); see 1A W. Fletcher, Cyclopedia of the Law of Corporations §102 (rev. ed. 2010).

    While it is certainly true that a central objective of for-profit corporations is to make money, modern corporate law does not require for-profit corporations to pursue profit at the expense of everything else, and many do not do so.

    For-profit corporations, with ownership approval, support a wide variety of charitable causes, and it is not at all uncommon for such corporations to further humanitarian and other altruistic objectives. Many examples come readily to mind. So long as its owners agree, a for-profit corporation may take costly pollution-control and energy-conservation measures that go beyond what the law requires. A for-profit corporation that operates facilities in other countries may exceed the requirements of local law regarding working conditions and benefits. "

    See also: Corporations Don’t Have to Maximize Profits - NY Times
     
  17. I7guy macrumors P6

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    #17
    Exactly, Peter Drucker 101. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Drucker One of the few times I agree. :) The goal of a company is to provide a service, hence 501c3 companies exist. Companies that put profit first, Enron, Madoff, etc are no longer.
     
  18. Asizemore940 macrumors newbie

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    #18
    You do realize that not every job requires and therefore not everyone needs a college education. You would find it interesting that in Norway, a country with free college education, that unemployment for those nice white collar jobs is high. Thus many citizens end up doing trades / vocational work. That said your attitude towards vocational workers reeks of elitism. If it were not for vocational workers who would build your Mercedes? Who would weld the steel beams of your ivory tower office? // rant over by this college educated, ivory tower white collar job holding CONSERVATIVE// PS you are welcome to fly over Texas anytime. And we in Texas would be happy if Sharp or Foxconn builds a plant here.
     
  19. npmacuser5, Jan 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017

    npmacuser5 macrumors 6502a

    npmacuser5

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    The largest negative impact on manufacturing jobs, Technology. Foxconn wants to totally automate iPhone production as an example. The new factory worker will need highly technical skills. To your point, not necessarily college educated but highly educated as compared to today's workers. Additional jobs designing, building and supporting the automation will require even more advanced skills. The factory workers of the future will be very knowledable and skilled. We need to fill this educational void with the approiate job educational offerings. Something countries like China have already implemented. The definition of trades and vocational jobs will continue to require more advanced education but, not necessarily a college education.
     
  20. Asizemore940 macrumors newbie

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    I absolutely agree. The American education system needs to realize that a quality vocational education is as important as all the liberal arts and STEM degrees. I believe automation and robotics training will be big. Another example is maintenance and repair of wind farm equipment. One junior college in our area has a program for that field and the grads are getting handsome offers for associate degrees. Way better offers than public school teachers with 4 year bachelors degrees.
     
  21. Precision Gem macrumors 6502

    Precision Gem

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    #21
    Robotics and automation have certainly reduced the number of employees required in typical manufacturing environments, but there are still works needed to build and maintain this equipment, often load materials into the work centers, inspection, programming etc. So is it better to have these jobs in the USA or overseas?
     
  22. fatalogic macrumors regular

    fatalogic

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    I definitely think it is better to have them in the US but what I'm echoing what others in this thread are. They are not going to be the factory jobs of old. They will be new jobs probably highly technical that will require a degree or specialized training. I just feel a lot of people thing the factory jobs of the 50s-60s are coming back but they are not coming back for long. If I was a company I'd hire 100 people at 80k that can maintain robots that run 24/7 vs 1000 people at 50k.
     
  23. Precision Gem macrumors 6502

    Precision Gem

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    #23
    These are not all degreed jobs. You have raw materials coming into a factory being unloaded from trucks, raw materials rough cut, moved to work centers, then these materials loaded into work centers. Finished products packaged and shipping. These are all NON degree type jobs. Do you think all these people in China right now assembling Apple products hold advanced degrees? Do you not think there is a tremendous amount of robotics and automation currently in the production of Apple products?
     
  24. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #24
    When you said that, it struck me the same thing has happened with the military.

    Nobody wants a simple groundpounder any more. Now everyone has to have tech skill to operate in today's battlefield.
     
  25. npmacuser5 macrumors 6502a

    npmacuser5

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    #25
    Foxconn has said, "planning on fully automating iPhone manufacturing" in the next few years. Cost China 300k plus jobs.
     

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