Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday assured critics of his deal with Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn that the massive bundle of taxpayer-funded incentives Wisconsin has offered the company to build here will be tied to job creation.
"We tie it to performance," Walker said on a syndicated conservative talk radio show Thursday. "They're not going to get (the incentives) if they don't provide the jobs and don't provide the capital investment."
Walker said if Foxconn doesn't fulfill their promise to invest $10 billion or create 13,000 jobs, the company won't be eligible for the $3 billion in incentives the state has planned for the company to build a 20 million-square foot campus to create liquid display panels.
"It's good to have (safeguards) as protection ... it certainly is my fiduciary role to protect taxpayers in the state," Walker said.
Walker appeared on CNBC and talk radio shows Thursday a day after announcing in Washington D.C. that Wisconsin has agreed to offer Foxconn the largest incentive package in state history to build its first U.S. plant. The facility is expected to open in 2020 and sit on at least 1,000 acres -- a campus Walker has dubbed "Wisconn Valley."
He made the case for the deal and responded to critics who point to past splashy announcements Foxconn has made in the U.S. and overseas without following through on their plans.
"WI needs to take a close look at these broken promises before throwing billions of taxpayer dollars at questionable corporate subsidies," Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, tweeted on Thursday.
In 2013, the company announced plans to build a $30 million plant that would employ 500 workers in central Pennsylvania. That project never materialized.
Under the plan for Foxconn in Wisconsin, the company would be eligible to earn the $3 billion over 15 years. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. said the incentives are projected to cost between $200 million and $250 million annually.
The company will be eligible for $1.5 billion in state income tax credits for creating jobs, up to 1.35 billion in credits for capital investments and up to $150 million for the sales and use tax exemption for the purchase of construction materials.
Walker acknowledged the company's past broken pledges, but said the state has put in place the "safeguards" and "clawbacks" necessary to protect the state.
"They’re just upset because they think this is a major victory for me," he said about critics of the plan.
Walker plans to hold a second announcement event in Milwaukee on Thursday evening.