Foxconn, a company that originally promised to build a $10 billion campus in Wisconsin to manufacture liquid crystal display panels, has since suggested it may not follow through—and that it will mostly be hiring white-collar engineers, not blue-collar workers, NBC News reports Tuesday. The Apple supplier’s decision to build the plant, which would have been the largest foreign greenfield investment in U.S. history, was heralded by President Trump in 2017 as an example of his ability to revive American manufacturing and bring jobs to blue-collar workers in poorer regions. But in an interview with Reuters, NBC notes, the special assistant to Foxconn Chief Executive Terry Gou said that it wouldn’t be cost-effective. “In terms of TV, we have no place in the U.S.,” he said. “We can’t compete.”
Instead, the assistant said, Foxconn plans to create a “technology hub” for researching, packaging, and assembly, and will manufacture the screens in China and Japan. As a result, NBC notes, it seems unlikely that the company will deliver on the 13,000 jobs it originally promised—currently, the company only expects to employ a few thousand by 2020, many of whom will be in white-collar “knowledge” positions.