Trump Tells Foxconn Chair Trade Deal With China Coming Soon
U.S. President Donald Trump told Foxconn Chair Terry Gou during a meeting Friday that he expects the U.S. and China to have a new trade deal in place soon during a meeting to discuss a $10 billion project that is supposed to bring 13,000 jobs to Wisconsin.
Foxconn is an electronics manufacturing company and is the largest private employer in Taiwan. The company makes a number of well-known electronic devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Kindle, and several of the biggest video game consoles on the market.
“U.S. President Trump shared with me yesterday on the phone that the negotiation progress between China and the U.S. is going well and it is likely that they will come up with an agreement soon,” Gou said in opening remarks at Foxconn’s annual carnival for employees in Taipei.
He later told reporters that he discussed the matter with Trump because he has investments in the U.S. and is concerned about the friction between Washington and Beijing.
The global economy is undergoing a structural change, Gou said. And whatever the outcome of the trade war, the Western market will still be led by the U.S., and the Asian market will be dominated by China, an economy with a population of 1.4 billion.
“Luckily, we have investments and have been nurturing a lot of talent in both countries,” Gou said.
Foxconn reversed course late last week after saying it would put the Wisconsin project on hold due to worsening geopolitical uncertainties after discussing the matter with Trump.
Foxconn late on Friday night said in a statement that it will move forward to build a Generation-6 display facility in Wisconsin after a “personal conversation” between Trump and Gou, and productive discussions between the White House and the Taiwanese company.
“It’s the right decision to invest in the U.S.,” Gou said on Saturday, without mentioning the Gen-6 project during his speech.
Gou later said Foxconn’s presence in Wisconsin will go beyond the Gen-6 facility. “People focus only on Gen-6,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the event, adding: “We will do a lot of things there. … We will do cloud computing, a high-performance computing center, health-related internet of things and medical equipment.”
The chairman continued: “The large-sized display market is suffering from a serious supply glut. … Some Chinese companies are churning out so many panels and they don’t care about the cost. … That’s why we are revising our previous plan a bit.”
The Friday statement said the Gen-6 LCD facility will be the “heart” of the Wisconsin Valley Science and Technology Park. Gen-6 LCD technology will mainly churn out smaller but value-added displays for such uses as automotive, aviation and medical.
“I was honored to receive a phone call from President Trump yesterday,” Gou said on Saturday. “Actually, in December last year, I also went to the White House to have an extensive discussion with the president about the outlook on the trade situation between the U.S. and China, as well as our investment in the U.S.”