China / Across America

Foxconn CEO met with official in Pennsylvania

By Paul Welitzkin in New York (China Daily USA) Updated: 2017-01-25 12:00

The CEO of Foxconn, the Taiwan electronics maker, met with a representative of Pennsylvania's economic development agency last week and expressed a desire to invest in the state, an agency spokeswoman said on Monday.

The spokeswoman's comment in an email to China Daily follows remarks made on Sunday by Terry Gou, chairman of Foxconn - the world's largest contract device maker best known for assembling iPhones for Apple Inc - who told reporters that Foxconn is considering setting up a display-making plant in the US in an investment that would exceed $7 billion and could create 30,000 to 50,000 jobs.

Gou did not say where, and the email from the Pennsylvania agency said the meeting "did not address specifics on a proposed project as of yet." Foxconn already has some small operations in Pennsylvania.

"The chairman of Foxconn met with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's investment office representative last week and expressed a desire to invest in Pennsylvania, but the meeting did not address specifics on a proposed project as of yet," said the statement.

"Previously in mid-December 2016, Foxconn contacted the department's office in Taiwan to investigate the programs available for companies interested in locating within the commonwealth. DCED will continue to work with Foxconn to explore potential investment opportunities in Pennsylvania."

Gou said that Foxconn had been considering building a plant in the US for years. "There is such a plan, but it is not a promise. It is a wish," Gou, told reporters.

He added that he wanted guarantees of inexpensive land and electricity before the company made its investment and warned against US protectionism, according to Reuters.

Gou said that business partner Masayoshi Son, head of Japan's SoftBank Group Corp, talked to him before a December meeting Son had with then President-elect Donald Trump, according to Reuters.

As a result of the meeting, Son pledged investments of $50 billion in the US and inadvertently disclosed information showing Foxconn's logo and an unspecified additional $7 billion investment.

At the time, Foxconn issued a brief statement saying it was in preliminary discussions to expand its US operations, without elaborating.

Gou said he told Son that the US has no panel-making industry but it is the second-largest market for televisions.

In his inaugural speech on Jan 20, Trump vowed to put "America first" and on Monday signed an executive order canceling an agreement for a sweeping trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with several economies including many in Asia but not China.

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