Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics maker, is considering setting up a display-panel producing plant in the United States.
According to its chief executive there would be an investment of more than $7 billion (6.5 billion euros), creating about 30,000-50,000 jobs.
Reportedly it could be a joint venture with Apple for which it makes the majority of the iPhones and iPads that are produced in the world.
Foxconn CEO and Chairman Terry Gou, speaking at a company event in Taiwan, said Foxconn has been considering such a move for years, adding: “There is such a plan, but it is not a promise. It is a wish.”
He said the proposal to build a display plant, which would be planned with its Sharp unit, depends on many factors – such as investment conditions – that would have to be negotiated at the US state and federal levels.
After US President Donald Trump pledged to put “America First” in his inauguration speech on Friday, Gou warned about the rise of protectionism and a trend for politics to underpin economic development.
Asked about concerns of a US protectionist agenda Gou said: “The rise of protectionism is unavoidable. Secondly, the trend of politics serving the economy is clearly defined.”
Foxconn is one of the biggest employers in China with close to one million workers and the Beijing government will look closely at any move of factory jobs out of the country.
Gou added that Foxconn would also remain active in China, dispelling talk that Beijing may be pressuring Foxconn about its investments.
He was reportedly invited to Trump’s inauguration but did not attend.
Terry Gou bowing in apology at Foxconn's annual banquet last night after revenues shrink for first time in 20 years on falling iPhone sales: pic.twitter.com/WpOs7DDBz3— Ben Thompson (@benthompson) January 22, 2017