TAIPEI (Reuters) - Foxconn (2317.TW), the world’s largest contract electronics maker and a major Apple Inc (AAPL.O) supplier, plans to invest more than $10 billion in a display-making factory in the United States and will decide on the location of the plant next month.
The Taiwan-based firm has been eyeing U.S. investments for some time and its CEO, Terry Gou, had previously said the company hoped to spend over $7 billion to set up a display-making plant in the country - which has no panel-making industry but is the No.2 market for televisions.
Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, is currently considering Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina as possible locations, Gou told reporters after the company’s annual shareholders meeting on Thursday.
“In July we will make a conclusion,” Gou said, adding the company would invest the money over five years.
Foxconn operates vast factories in China, where it employs a million people and makes most of Apple’s iPhones, but so far it has not invested heavily in manufacturing in the United States.
“This time we go to America, it’s not just to build a factory, but to move our entire supply chain there,” Gou told shareholders, without providing specific details.
While the plant would create jobs, Gou added it would not employ as many people as in its China plants, as the cost of labor is higher and the plant would rely on automation.
“In the U.S., the state governors’ sincerity and confidence to attract investment ... is beyond my imagination,” Gou said.
President Donald Trump has called for firms to build more products in the United States. He has made several announcements since his election in November about U.S. investments by both foreign and domestic manufacturers, building on his campaign focus on preserving and creating American jobs.
According to Tai Jeng-wu, CEO of Foxconn’s Japanese unit Sharp Corp (6753.T), six U.S. states were being looked at for a possible location for the display-making plant.
Foxconn already has operations in Pennsylvania.
Gou said that an agreement announced four years ago to invest in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was still pending.
Reporting by Jess Macy Yu and J.R. Wu; Editing by Stephen Coates and Himani Sarkar