RACINE COUNTY — Local public officials remained close-mouthed Monday about indications and news reports that Taiwanese electronics assembler Foxconn Technology Group is looking at area sites for a manufacturing plant.
According to recent news reports, Foxconn, which builds iPhones and other electronics, is considering investing somewhere in the United States and is looking for 1,000 acres for an expansion. The company said in January it is looking to make a $7 billion investment in this country and employ as many as 50,000 people.
As it did last Tuesday, the Racine County Board has another closed-session meeting scheduled for tonight about unspecified economic development matters. Both agendas cited as the reasons for the closed sessions, under Wisconsin statutes, as being “to deliberate the investment of public funds regarding competitive multi-site economic development opportunities and the strategies associated with pursuing the same.”
However, local officials were not willing to say whether any of those discussions involve Foxconn. “I can’t say anything about that,” County Executive Jonathan Delagrave said.
Delagrave said last Tuesday’s closed County Board meeting was about “various economic development projects.”
Other local officials also declined to comment when asked whether Foxconn is looking for a manufacturing site in this county. Mount Pleasant Village President Dave DeGroot, who attended last Tuesday’s closed County Board meeting, simply said, “No comment.”
As is always the case with Racine County Economic Development Corp. when it is assisting municipalities with projects, RCEDC Executive Director Jenny Trick declined to comment Monday.
And Caledonia Village Administrator Tom Christensen, when asked if he could say whether Foxconn is looking at sites in Caledonia, said, “I am unable to answer that question.”
Last week President Donald Trump, speaking in Waukesha, said there have been negotiations with an unspecified company and said Gov. Scott Walker might get “a very happy surprise very soon.”
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch told the Associated Press Monday that she met with Foxconn officials about considering expanding to Wisconsin during a trade mission two years ago to Japan and Taiwan. Kleefisch said when trying to lure foreign investments, particularly from Asian countries, it’s important to have face-to-face discussions and sometimes those can take years to bear fruit. Kleefisch said she did not talk specifics with Foxconn two years ago.