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News & Press: Legislative Issues

Foxconn Chairman Interested in UW Cancer Research

Wednesday, August 23, 2017  
Posted by: Dan Carpenter, Hoven Consulting
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Foxconn Chairman Interested in UW Cancer Research


In July 2017, Governor Scott Walker and President Donald Trump announced that Foxconn, a Taiwanese-based electronics manufacturer, plans to build a factory in southeastern Wisconsin. Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou announced the company will invest $10 billion and employ upwards of 13,000 workers in the state.


Foxconn is the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer electronics. The company manufactures products for various companies including Apple, Microsoft, and Sony. The Wisconsin factory will build LCD display panels for computers and televisions.


According to reports, executives from Foxconn recently met with staff and researchers at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center. Gou, whose wife and brother both succumbed to cancer, is a champion for research on the disease. He has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to research at the National Taiwan University. Coincidentally, the director of the cancer center at Taiwain National University is Ann-Lii Cheng, a former fellow at the UW Carbone Cancer Center.


The Carbone Cancer Center is considered one of the leading cancer research centers in the nation. It has been designated by the National Cancer Institute as the only comprehensive cancer center in Wisconsin.


It has been reported that Foxconn and the Carbone center are discussing possibilities to collaborate on research efforts. While no details on potential collaboration have been made public at this time, it is worth noting that Foxconn manufactures medical devices as well.


In July, Governor Walker and Chairman Gou signed a memorandum of understanding, which requires Foxconn to invest $10 billion and create up to 13,000 jobs. In exchange, Wisconsin will provide a $3 billion incentive package. The package includes $1.5 billion in income tax credits for job creation, $1.35 billion in income tax credits for capital investment, and $150 million in sales tax exemptions for construction material purchases. The incentives will be spread over 15 years and pro-rated based on Foxconn’s ability to invest and create jobs.


In order to provide the incentive package, the state legislature needs to approve it. On August 17, the State Assembly approved the package and the Joint Committee on Finance held a public hearing on August 22nd. The State Senate still needs to vote on the bill. According to some senators, the bill may be amended in the State Senate or by the Joint Committee on Finance. If the bill is changed, the State Assembly would need to vote on it again because both houses of the legislature need to pass the same bill.  According to the memorandum of understanding, the legislature needs to approve the package by September 30. 

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